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Vol, V, no. 329



Pages 12 i Price 10/-

Controversial anti-terrorism law sails through NA 

Nisar protests haste in legislation  Sentence for kidnapping, hijacking increased to 10 years  ZAB Medical University Bill also passed amid protest


ISLAMABAD: The government Wednesday went more than generous as it accepted more than a dozen amendments moved by the opposition lawmakers without finding fault with them, as the House passed “The AntiTerrorism (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 before the lawmakers going to the farewell lunch hosted by the Speaker in honour of the outgoing members. Though Opposition Leader Ch Nisar Ali Khan criticized the government for

showing haste in its bid to pass the most ‘controversial bills during the last sittings of the outgoing assembly but the government responded in a somewhat friendly manner and agreed to almost all what the opposition lawmakers suggested viz-a-viz the bill that will help curb the terrorist violence and punish those found involved in terrorism with a view to create adequate deterrence. According to the approved bill, the preparation for attacking the civilians, government officials, installations and

security forces has been omitted as crime due to the amendment moved by the PML-N members. A person is guilty of the crime under this law if he is involved in dissemination, preaching ideas, teaching and beliefs as per own interpretation which incite or are likely to incite a person to commit an offence under this act on FM stations or through any other means of communication, without explicit approval of the government. The bill says the government may, for a period not exceeding thirty days and

after recording reasons thereof, issue order for the preventive detention of any person who has been concerned in any offence under this act for purpose of inquiry. According to the bill, suspects accused of terrorism will be interrogated by an SP level officer, while audio video recordings, phone recordings, encrypted messages and emails could be used as evidence. The bill also allows government authorities to take action against financiers of terrorism along with confiscating their

assets. The prison sentence of individuals supporting terrorist activity has been increased from three to five years. The sentence for kidnapping for ransom and hijacking has been increased to ten years while it has also been recommended that assets of individuals involved in these activities be seized. Organizations with new names formed from banned organizations will also be outlawed. Any individual associated with banned

no response to ec proposals

SNEAK PEEK students facing neglect at FBise

SC seeks explanation from govt

The students turning towards the head office of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education are suffering due to irresponsible behaviour of the administration; however the ‘agents’ are active on the other hand to ‘assist’ the these helpless students for money. Page 02

PPP again fails to bring isi under parliament The upper house of the parliament on Wednesday passed a bill (National Counter-Terrorism Authority Act, 2013) to ensure supremacy of intelligence agencies over the prime minister. The Clause 6, Sub-Clause 3 of the bill describes that the presence of director generals of various intelligence agencies, including ISI, MI and IB, will be mandatory in all meetings of the NACTA Board of Governors would be headed while taking decision on any policy issue. Page 04

soldier stoned to death in kurram A soldier has been stoned to death over allegations of an affair with a teenage girl in Kurram Agency, located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In Parachinar, a tribal jirga ordered the sentence on Anwar-ud-Din, who was about 25 years old, for having ‘illicit’ relations with a local girl. Page 05

PTA takes note of consumers’ fleecing The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken serious notice of illegal heavy fleecing of the consumers with additional Inland Housing Clearance (IHC) tax by 14 long distance international (LDI) operators over incoming international calls to Pakistan. Page 09

khar most glamorous woman politician in world Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar topped the list of most gorgeous women politicians in the world, a survey conducted by India Today said. Khar is famous for wearing attractive and fashionable outfits. Her handbags and dresses remains the focus of the media during her foreign trips. Page 10

organizations will not be issued passports, credit cards, bank loans and arms licences. Arms licences issued earlier will also be revoked. Representatives and workers of such organizations will also be prohibited from travelling abroad. No court will be allowed to approve bail of individuals who have are serving death, life or ten year sentences. The house also passed “The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad, Bill, 2013” despite opposition from the PML-N.


Wants to know govt’s reservations Says EC implementing court orders


QUETTA: Children accused of helping suicide bombers in custody of Balochistan police after a raid. –ONLINE (STORY ON PAGE 12)

raisani back in cM’s chamber

Governor’s Rule in Balochistan expires OUR STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD: The coalition government of Balochistan led by Nawab Aslam Raisani stood automatically restored at midnight Wednesday as the proclamation issued for imposing two-month Governor’s rule in the province on January 14, 2013 has expired. A joint sitting of the parliament was required to endorse extension in the Governor’s rule beyond two months time but the government did not opt for the same. The President had invoked Article 234 of the Constitution to impose governor rule in the province for two months in the aftermath of Alamdar road bombing. According to the Article 234 (3) of the Constitution, a proclamation issued under this Article shall be laid before a joint sitting and shall cease to be in force at the expiration of two months, unless before the expiration of that period it has been approved by resolution of the joint sitting and may by like resolution be extended for a further period not exceeding two months at a time. The Balochistan Assembly will complete its five years term on April 5, 2013. The PPP-led federal government tried its best during the two months time to convince Raisani to step down but the latter declined to resign from the office. The restoration of the provincial government was required for the formation of the caretaker government in the province. As Aslam Raisani is back as the Balochistan CM, he would be a major stakeholder in the formation of caretaker set up in the province. According to the sources,

with Raisani back, the JUI-F, which was earlier part of the coalition government, would be allotted seats on opposition benches and JUI-F Parliamentary Leader Abdul Wasay would be notified as Leader of the Opposition and would also have a say in the formation of caretaker set up. The fate of Balochistan assembly also lies with the CM Raisani as he would decide whether to dissolve the provincial assembly on March 16 along with national assembly or completes its full term. Meanwhile, JUI-F and Balochistan National Party (Awami) have decided to sit on opposition benches in provincial assembly after expiry of governor’s rule in province. A consultative meeting of the both parties was held at Parliament House in which Israr Ullah Zehri from BNP (Awami) and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri of JUI-F participated. Other leaders of both the parties were also present on the occasion. The two sides agreed that they would not have any objection if the National and provincial assemblies would be dissolved at the same day.

Completion of term historic moment: PM IS LAM A BAD : Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Wednesday that the completion of term by a democratic government is an historic moment. Addressing the farewell meeting of the Federal cabinet Wednesday, the PM said Wednesday is an important day in the history of Pakistan‚ as the democratic government is completing its tenure. Raja Pervez Ashraf said we are now heading towards elections and pledged the government's strong conviction that free fair and transparent elections are essential for democracy‚ security and development of the country. The prime minister said the government has taken the opposition into confidence regarding the appointment of caretaker prime minister. He said the caretaker Prime Minister will be appointed by mutual consultation. He congratulated the outgoing cabinet and said it will go down well for the country’s democratic history. –AGENCIES

relATed sTory

cabinet approved ambitious investment policy –Page 9

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday observed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will be authorized to hold free and fair elections, as it had the trust and support of over 180 million people of the country. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, while hearing pleas seeking electoral forms, observed that the government should not have any objections over stopping corruption and corrupt practices from the electoral process. The court noted that the federal government had reservations over the monitoring of election campaigns, despite monitoring was the result of the court’s June 8, 2012 decision. The court asked the federal government to inform it by today (Thursday) about its reservations, besides clarifying that why it had not approved the requests of the ECP with regard to holding free and fairs elections. The court ordered the federal government to also submit by today (Thursday) a comprehensive report over the steps so far taken for holding transparent elections. The chief justice noted that the interim setup will be in place in the next two to three days and it was positive that the constitution would be implemented automatically. The court directed the ECP to file its comprehensive reply over the arrangements being made for holding the transparent elections. The court noted that since the elections were ahead thus there should be no delay in necessary constitutional and administrative arrangements. The ECP presented a report over electoral amendments for electoral reforms in light of the court orders. Addressing the additional director

general of the Law Commission, the chief justice said that court’s decision related to electoral reforms had become a law, adding that if there was any hurdle in implementation of the verdict, it should be explained. The court directed the ECP to divide in two parts the details it submitted before the court. Deputy Attorney General Dil Muhammadzai stated that the amendments under the electoral reforms needed parliament’s approval. The chief justice then noted that the elections were ahead, thus the matter could not be delayed for indefinite period. ECP’s counsel Muhammad Munir Peracha stated that the government had objections over the proposal of law commission about supervising teams for monitoring the code of conduct. The chief justice said it was being done on court orders. The court again asked the ECP not to show any weakness in holding the general election. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for today (Thursday).

secret monitoring cell formed in ecP ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan has established a secret monitoring cell for making the political parties abide by the code of conduct. The cell will monitor the political parties for 24 hours and will present its report to the Chief Election Commissioner on daily basis. Sources said the monitoring cell would work in the centre and all of the provincial and district’s members of the commission would also be its members. The report on any type of misconduct would be sent to the monitoring cell. The processions and rallies would be monitored completely to check show of arms, buying and selling of votes, and unrestrained use of money. –AGENCIES

Preening for posterity, Raja does the rounds

Jarvis strikes give boost to Zimbabwe against windies


Two wickets from Kyle Jarvis gave Zimbabwe a boost on a tough opening day in the first Test saw them all out for 211 before restricting the West Indies to 18 for two at stumps here at the Kensington Oval. Despite a battling top score of 50 from opening batsman Tino Mawoyo, none of the other Zimbabwe batsmen managed an innings of note to justify their captain's surprising decision to bat first on winning the toss. Page 11

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has made it a point in the dying throes of his government nowadays to draw media attention and to add plaques to his name by inaugurating several projects, whether they match his stature as chief executive of the country or not, the apparent reason for which is that there are just three days left for his premiership. This fact became evident on Wednesday when Raja reached Lake View Park to inaugurate an aviary,a

project probably of least importance compared to other costly ones. The aviary has been made by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for around Rs80 million and stocked with 1200 different species of birds. Although Rs80 million might be big money, it is rare for the PM to inaugurate projects of less than billions. Raja's predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani, however, inaugurated multibillion projects of Capital Development Authority (CDA) like Zero Point Interchange, Margalla Avenue and Kashmir Highway, etc.

And the projects of less worth were mostly inaugurated by local PPP leaders like Faisal Sakhi Butt who considered it an honor to be chief guestat occasions. “Raja sahib wants to feel proud of his legacy,” commented a participantat the inauguration. A political figure of the capital, who wished to remain unnamed, said that it was an addiction with every political personality to see plaques with his name at various places,an ego booster and one of the major tools to pretend that a lot of work was done by him or her.

However, some participants praised Raja for his interest in recreational facilities for citizens and some criticized him for inaugurating such projects instead of doing something concrete like ensuring transport facilities for recreational spots. CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz said on the occasion that 65 ofall the species of birds there were special. They would have their natural habitat, but in cages spread over 3.8 acres. He said that special arrangements had been made for their care, such as a small dispensary

and a first aid post round the clock. He said CDA also had a souvenir pet shop at the aviary.


IHC gives two weeks to regularise 428 policemen SALMAN ABBAS

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday directed the Establishment Division to forward the case of 428 Islamabad Police officials to Cabinet Sub-Committee to consider their regularisation as per policy. The directions came after 428 police officials went into litigation against the authorities concerned for not regularising them even after the completion of due period. A single-member bench of Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan gave a

timeframe of 15 days to complete the process of consideration for their regularisation. As per details the 428 ICT police officials had filed petition in the IHC for the regularization of their services. All these police officials were ex-army men and they were appointed in ICT police in 2009 on contract basis at BS-5. The petitioners adopted before the court that the government of Pakistan introduced a policy regarding regularization of the contract/daily wage employees, according to

which, employees with one-year service could be regularized. They prayed to the court to order forward their cases for regularization before the cabinet sub-committee. A deputy attorney general, however, told the IHC bench that the petitioners were appointed on contract basis, as there was a ban on regular appointments. The federal government increased the number of police officials in ICT due to law and order situation, he further said. The DAG also told the court that the government has already appointed

police officials through regular process and the petitioners cannot be regularised. The bench, however, observed, “Due to appointment of these officials, the service of other employees did not affect. The eligibility of the petitioners is to be decided by the Cabinet Sub-Committee, but they cannot be discriminated against.� The court directed the respondents to forward cases of the petitioners to the cabinet sub-committee and meanwhile no adverse action may be taken against them.

Clerk booked for ‘misplacing’ murder case ďŹ le ISLAMABAD: An upper divisional clerk of Islamabad sessions court was booked on Tuesday for misplacing file of a murder case. Muhammad Imran, who works in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Jahangir Awan, registered an FIR with the Margalla Police Station, stating that UDC Muhammad Jamil of his office misplaced the file number 58/11, registered in the Nilore Police Station. When contacted, Sub-Inspector Malik Feroz, the investigating officer of the Margalla Police Station, told The Spokesman that on Wednesday he approached the concerned court to get information about the case but he was given insufficient details about the accused. “This may slow down the investigation process.â€? He said that according to the given details, accused Muhammad Jamil belonging from Bahawalpur, is not coming to his office in session court for a long time which strengthen the doubt that the file was misplaced by him not by negligence but intentionally. He further said that he was told by the court officials that on Tuesday the accused was also found roaming in the court area. He said the case file was against three people for killing a youth in 2011, and the FIR of this case was registered in Nilore Police station. The Nilore police while giving the details of the FIR stated that the FIR number 58 was lodged on May 13, in which the applicant and mother of a diseased youth had mentioned that accused Sadheer along with Zaheer Ahmad and Gul Ahmad opened fire at Mubashar, son of Muhammad Yaqoob and resident of Dhok Mangu Nama, Dakhri Charah, resulting in his death. He said accused Mubashar was murdered due to his minor clashes with the accused. He said Sadheer was later arrested by the police and was shifted to Adiala Jail after court’s decision, however the other two accused, namely Zaheer Ahmad and Gul Ahmad, are still not arrested and has been declared wanted. STAFF REPORT

Behria Enclave contractor found murdered STAFF REPORTER

ISL AM ABAD: The body of a subcontractor, who had gone missing for last two days, was found by Bani Gala police on Wednesday. The body of Muhammad Nazir, 40, and a native of Chanari village of Bagh in Azad Kashmir, was found near the Behria Enclave. Nazir, a sub-contractor working in Behria Enclave, was hit in the head with a stone. Muhammad Sajid, the brother of the diseased man, told The Spokesman that they have no rivalry with anyone. Police, who delivered the body to his family after post-mortem, said that it was a murder.

ITP promotes 14 oďŹƒcers, suspends six inspectors I SL AM ABAD: The Islamabad Territory Police on Wednesday promoted 14 of its officials to the next rank. However, six inspectors were suspended. According to the notification number 03/17/12-ICT 1 issued by Federal Secretary Interior, 10 police officials, including six DSPs and four inspectors, were promoted to next rank. DSPs Hafeez Mohammad, Rafaqat Hussain, Mohammad Yar, Jameel Hashmi, Nighat Mujtaba Haider and Gulfam Nasir have been made SPs. Four inspectors - Bashir Noon, M Hussain Lasi, Zallay Hussain Shah and Aurangzaib were made DSPs. On the other hand, six police officials were suspended by SSP Headquarter Malik Yousaf, for not attending the advance course of bomb disposal squad. The suspended police officials were including one sub inspector, two assistant sub inspectors, two head constables and one constable. SSP Malik Yousaf said the suspended officials had refused to attend advance course training. STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABAD: Lights are reflected on the wet ground in front of Parliament House in the rain on Wednesday. ONLINE

Students facing neglect at top education board 

‘Agents’ active to ‘assist’ students for money  Students forced to verify their degrees


ISLAMABAD: The students turning towards the head office of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education are suffering due to irresponsible behaviour of the administration; however the ‘agents’ are active on the other hand to ‘assist’ the these helpless students for money. The FBISE administration is forcing the students to again verify their already verified degrees from their concerned educational boards and universities for attestations, which is affecting a large number of students from far-flung areas. Waqas Arif, student of BS (Hon) who came to visit FBISE from Gujrat, told The Spokesman that he completed his intermediate from Gujrat in 2006 and then verified his certificate from the concerned board on February 6, 2012 after paying Rs 3250 as fee. He said that he could not send his documents for the attestation immediately for some reasons, which has created an issue for him. “FBISE staff totally refused my request and suggested me to again verify my certificates from the board after which they would be able to

attest it because according to them, they have no records of the verified documents older than three months,� said Waqas. However, according to him, another official interfered during his discussion with the staff members, by telling him to stay at a side where a person will meet him who can resolve his issue. “After waiting for some time, a person wearing uniform of a security guard met and offered me that my documents will be attested immediately if I pay him 2000, excluding the attestation fee which is Rs 400 only, but I refused his offer and he disappeared,� he added. Wasiq Abbasi, another student from district Bagh of Azad Kashmir, said that he was also visiting the office for attestation of his degree but was facing the same hurdles by the staff. “The staff declined attestation of my degree by telling that they are considering only those documents for the attestation which are verified after 2010. Unfortunately, mine was verified in 2009,� he said. He said that he was also told by a staff member that if he can wait for some time, a person will meet him to resolve his issues, but no one has met him yet. Abdul Wahab was also

PWD shut as employees protest enters 8th day OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: A large number employees of Public Works Department on Wednesday protested again against the government’s discrimination for giving a 20 percent salary increase only to the employees working in the Civil Secretariat by ignoring those working in the attached departments. The protest has entered the eighth day and it brought the department to a standstill. Hundreds of employees gathered at D-Chowk and marched towards National Press Club. Holding placards, protesting employees were chanting slogans against the government’s apathy and in favor of their demands. Secretary General of

PAK-PWD united workers federation Raja Waqar accused the government of “discrimination� for giving a 20 per cent salary increase to employees of ministries and Secretariat departments, but not to attached departments or field offices. The Ministry of Housing and Works, which the PWD falls under, is housed in the Secretariat, but the PWD itself and its affiliated offices are in different parts of Islamabad. “There are 4,000 PWD employees in Islamabad who have been excluded from this increase,� Raja said. The union’s secretary-general added that the government’s decision, “an unjust violation of fundamental rights,� has made attached department employees extremely angry.


ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission is all set to grant extension in the service of five MP-Scale officers of the commission in violation of the laid down rules and without approval of the selection committee. Sources in the HEC informed “The Spokesman� on Wednesday that HEC Chairman Javaid Leghari is mulling extension of his five favourites, including Jaleel Ahmed (MP-2, Adviser Monitoring), Khawaja Azam Ali (MP-2, Managing Director Quality Assurance), Noor Amina Malik (MP-3, Director General Learning and Innovation), Zia Batool (MP-3, DG Quality Assurance), and Anwar Amjad (DG Information Technology). The approval of the High Power Selection Committee, which has also termed some previous extensions as illegal, has not been sought for the above five persons, the sources added. It merits a mention here that the contract of Anees Sadozai expired on March 9, 2013, but he continues holding his office. The sources said that the HEC chairman is likely to convene a meeting of all HEC directors by the end of March to get endorsement for extension of the five officers. Under the rules, they added, the appointments and extensions of MP scale officers is sole discretion of the three-member high power selection committee of the federal government headed by secretary finance along with two more members comprising secretary establishment and secretary of the concerned ministry. The HEC officers working under the MP-2 cadre are enjoying a lump-sum salary up to Rs300,000 per month, while the officers awaiting extension, under MP-3, are getting Rs150,000 to Rs175,000 per month. The HEC chairman had faced a strong reaction from the employees when the commission granted extension to Sohail Naqvi, former Executive Director, without taking the prime minister into confidence.

Bid to catch judge’s killer who escaped STAFF REPORTER

I SLAMABAD: A police team will be leaving for Kabul on Thursday to arrest the man who murdered ex-attorney general. The team will try to arrest Roohullah who escaped twice from the clutches of the police and jailers in Pakistan. The accused murdered Sardar Khan, former attorney general and retired judge of Peshawar High Court, on February 3, 2010 in Sector F-10 in Islamabad. Roohullah escaped to Oman after killing Sardar Khan but later was arrested and shifted to Adiala Jail. On July 28, 2012, he again escaped when he was shifted to DHQ Hospital in Rawalpindi from Adiala Jail after complaining a kidney disease. He flew to Dubai from where he succeeded to enter Afghanistan.

NAB takes up PM&DC fake registrations case HOMER BALOCH

ISL AM ABAD: The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday took notice of the irregularities in Pakistan Medical and Dental Council regarding the issue of fake registration. It sent a letter to PM&DC for the provision of the record of the past decade regarding the accused registrar and the registrations. An official in PM&DC requesting anonymity has confirmed receiving of the letter. It is worth to mention that PM&DC is going through a by its ex-registrar Dr. Ahmad Nadeem Akbar who issued

hundreds of fake registration certificates to medical students as well as colleges by misusing his authority. Sources within the organization have revealed that the exregistrar used unlawful means just to increase the number of his supporters who can vote him in their membership elections to elect as a member of its committee. The PM&DC administration took notice of his issued fake registration and suspended him from his post. The authority has declared registration of 40 medical students and 19 medical colleges as fake yet, for which two FIR’s were registered against the ex-registrar in Police Station Ramna.

Documentary portrays music, dance and culture as weapons of peace SHANEL KHALIQ

AIOU grand competition ISLAMABAD: “Allama Iqbal Open University is holding a grand competition amongst the students of the university who won 1st prize in each category in the competitions held in their respective region/cities. ONLINE

visiting the FBISE office to attest the documents of his niece who is residing in England. He said that he was told by the staff to bring an authority letter from the owner of the documents, which was not possible for him currently. He said that he requested the staff again to attest without the authority letter for which again he was told to wait at a place where a person will meet him for his assistance. “I am ready to pay any amount the person may ask for, just because I have already wasted three days in this process and today they revealed that I would be requiring an authority letter,� he said. When contacted, Mohammad Iqbal Khankhel, deputy director at the Inter-Board Committee of Chairman, told The Spokesman that, “We are receiving hundreds of applications for documents attestation and equivalent certificates daily which forces us to replace the record with the latest one.� National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Education Chairman Sheikh Rohale Asghar said that, “if someone writes us about the issue within two days, we may consider it in the last meeting of the standing committee.�

HEC chief bent upon extension for favourites

ISLAMABAD: China State Construction Engineering Corporation Overseas GM Liao Harg presenting a cheque to cancer patient Nazir Khan at National Press Club. ONLINE

ISL AM ABAD: Music, dance and cultural expression can be used as ‘weapon’ to promote peace and put an end to the suffering caused by wars across the globe. This theme was beautifully captured by an award-winning documentary, titled “Cultures of Resistance�. It was screened at Kuch Khaas on Wednesday. The documentary is the brainchild of a Brazilian-Korean activist and filmmaker Iara Lee who took on a journey across five continents and visited several regions pillaged by war and chaos. She is also the


founder of the Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization working to promote global solidarity and peace and justice. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives that aim to mobilize people and bring change makers together from across boundaries. “Culture of Resistance� is a film that explores various conflict stricken areas around the globe and embarks upon how artists, musicians and ordinary people played their role in bringing peace and positive change. It examines how Rwanda fought with evils such as genocide and rape through women emancipation. Ordinary

women themselves came up for the cause as they were the worst affected. The Arab world has also witnessed a plethora of musicians and dancers who have used their own mediums to raise their voice against war and injustice. Palestinian resistance artist Katibe says that for them rap music is not important but the cause for which they are singing is paramount, which is to end Israeli aggression. Similarly in Brazil, musicians took to the slums of the country and transformed guns and ammunition into guitars so that the children could use them as their shields promoting peace.





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

Caretakers or undertakers? slamabad is abuzz with rumors about the caretaker setup. That they are scary is to say the least, especially for Mian Sahb. It seems the PPP will have its way in the end. The two PPP candidates are Hafeez Sheikh and Ishrat Hussain. As things stand today, the decision will ultimately go to the election commission where the PPP candidate is likely to win, we can tell you, by a three to two majority. And it’s not just because of the PPP. The two ‘As’ out of the proverbial three, which are supposed to matter in Pakistan also support the PPP candidate. Nawaz Sharif, they say, will ultimately give in. One, because he would not like to overly react as he is confident that he is coming to power. He would not mind the IMF restructuring package to be decided during the interim period. But the agenda seems much bigger than what Nawaz Sharif is thinking. The names of the caretaker Cabinet, which are in circulation, should set alarm bells ringing in the Mian camp. The top name for the FM is no other than the person who is crying wolf about the economy nose-diving in the op-eds. She has already got three ambassadorships to her credit and wants to finally achieve the ultimate ambition—the foreign ministry. Rawalpindi is on board and so may be the Khan who she has been advising lately. The name of a retired General from the Musharraf days for the interior slot should render more sleepless nights for Mian Sahb. The scare is that this will empower the EC to purge the system before the elections. This might mean the removal of nearly half the candidates, most of them from the PML (N), if not Mian Sahb himself. Some will get struck out because of tax and loan defaults, others for many more ‘miscellaneous reasons.’ By the way, nothing will be illegal or unconstitutional. This will surely test the PML (N)’s faith in the judiciary. Already, we hear protesting murmurings within the Mian camp—the kind that they loved when the victim was the PPP. AZ is already chuckling: hor chupo.


ZTBL: Can PM save ‘his man’ from Zaka’s strong connections? MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD ISLAMABAD: A war of nerves between the incumbent president of ZTBL Ihsanul Haq and his predecessor Zaka Ashraf has finally reached a point where both had to seek the arbitration of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to ensure that the agricultural bank 120 billion rupees worth continues to dole out unsolicited loans, defy State Bank of Pakistan and oblige the political and business elite of the country without troubling each other. The Spokesman has learnt on good authority that Zaka Ashraf, who is currently the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had to relinquish his charge as president ZTBL in 2011, continues to hold complete sway in the Board of Director of ZTBL till todate. Since Zaka still holds the post of a director of ZTBL, his handpicked coterie of officials sitting in the BOD of the bank is making it hard for his successor Ihsanul Haq Khan to operate smoothly and is awaiting an appropriate time to strike him out of the bank. Interestingly, sources confided that Ihsanul Haq enjoys the patronage of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Asharaf while Zaka Ashraf is considered to be the buddy of President Asif Ali Zardari, therefore, sensing the gravity of the stakes involved therein, both had to seek the intervention of their respective supporters in high offices. Consequently, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is learnt to have received instructions from the Presidency to sort this tug of war or find an appropriate place for ‘his man’ somewhere else if he can. After all, Zaka Ashraf was the host

of President Asif Zardari during the latter’s visit to South Punjab, where Zaka holds financial and political supremacy because of his industrial, farming and other undisclosed assets. Zaka is learned to have conveyed to his mentor on the Hilltop during one of the hosting sessions how Ihsanul Haq was trying to undermine his role in ZTBL and how much he wants to once again resume charge of the Bank. Since too many cases are pending in various courts against Zaka Ashraf, ranging from his eligibility as a member BOD to his conduct as president ZTBL from 2008-2011, therefore, his wish to return was simply not considered by President Zardari. However, he was certainly assured that Raja Sahib will reign in his man (Ihsan) to let Zaka run supreme in not only ZTBL but also PCB. Nevertheless, finding the orders from the Big Boss, the Prime Minister had to call both Zaka Ashraf and Ihsan Ul Haq Khan for an audience and advised them to sort out their matters amicably. The spokesman of ZTBL also confirmed this meeting by considering it a routine call because BOD was in session in Islamabad and refused to consider it anything but a usual meeting. The Prime Minister heard the point of view of both of them and asked them to remove their differences because both of them enjoy a good relationship with the top leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). However, our moles confirmed that Ihsan ul Haq was not happy with this meeting, especially the one-sided instructions from the Prime Minister to sort his issues with Zaka Ashraf. Therefore, our sources believe that the bat-

tle between Zaka Ashraf and Ihsan ul Haq Khan has entered its final phase. The spokesman of ZTBL, however, refuted this impression, saying that both enjoy cordial relations and there is no truth in such news. Our sources from within the BOD, however, confirmed to this scribe that BOD members are preparing a list of charges against the incumbent President on behalf of Zaka Ashraf and will take a step against him at any suitable time. "They want to remove him from the post and will take an action against him. However, they are wait-

Sharifs’ men to hold Punjab fort PPP to present names today

sadia sameer @sadia_1991 Well done Sindh Assembly! Well done PPP!!!! - "Sindh assembly passes resolution over misuse of Pakistan's blasphemy law" Yusra Askari @YusraSAskari I've heard about self glorification, but self nomination, never. Chaudhry Shujaat, this is history in the making. Khawaja Mohid Butt @mohidpyo "My mother was a political pioneer, setting new precedents and making it easier for others to follow in her footsteps,Chairman PPP #Bilawal omar r quraishi @omar_quraishi There is considerable evidence to suggest there was "considerable presence" of police at Joseph Colony spot but no resistance offered: HRCP Shama Junejo @ShamaJunejo It is really good to see that Marvi Memon not only made her place solid in PMLN, but her UNCLE Arbab too succeeded. Now only Mush remains:-) Nadia Jamil @NJLahori For those who want to focus on donating toiletries sanitary napkins,diapers,soap & mosquito repellent is a MAJOR need at #BadamiBaagh Shaista Gomal @Paklesbian Pakistan Inteligence service had Failed 2 block Finance support to TTP and BLA, Failed to track Terrorist activities in fata and Balochistan Salman Sikandar @SALSIKandar Punjab police can stop you from flying a kite even if you are at K2 but couldnt stop religious terrorists from home burning. #JosefColony Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI Shocked at murder of Parveen Rehman Director Orangi Pilot Project. Great loss for country. Saddened to see what we are turning into. Michael Kugelman @MichaelKugelman After Parveen Rehman's murder, I honestly don't see how #Pakistan can take any more of this savagery. The nation must be beyond numb. Bashir Ahmad Gwakh @bashirgwakh Police arrested a dozen children suspected of planting explosives for militants in #Quetta #Pakistan http://www. /pakistan-quetta-children-bombs/24927599. html … via @RFERL

MOHAMMED RIZWAN LAHORE: Though Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has forwarded ruling party’s nominees for the all-important position of caretaker chief minister, the PPP, is likely to reject those names and instead would forward its own names to the ruling party today (Thursday). Sharif has proposed the names of Justice (retd) Amir Raza and a former bureaucrat Khwaja Zaheer for the slot while the PPP, not happy at all with the proposals, will field its own names for which consultations within the party and with opposition parties are already under way.

“The position of caretaker chief minister is much more important than the caretaker prime minister as after 18thamendment, the slot is all powerful as far as administration is concerned,” said a PPP source who requested not to be named. “PML-N wants their interim CM at all costs. In fact, more than the prime minister and there have been signals from the ruling party that it would ‘cooperate’ in other provinces and centre if the Punjab set-up is picked according to their wishes,” said the source. “So far,” the source added, “PPP has conveyed to them informally that they would consult the other opposition parties like PML-Q, PTI and JI before they answer on

The two proposals by the PPP and allies will be forwarded today. However, PPP is keeping the names very close to its chest and so far it has not unveiled its names either in the centre or the province. “When we’ll disclose our names, they would be a lot better than what the PML-N is suggesting in the centre and in the province,” said former Punjab finance minister and PPP Punjab general secretary Tanvir Ashraf Kaira. He said the PML-N should have given the opposition the chance to send its proposals first like they did in the centre but they made their names public first which is like playing from both sides. “We have started the consultative process and we’ll come up with a consensus on two names very soon,” said Kaira.

the proposed name.” The two proposals by the PPP and allies will be forwarded today. However, PPP is keeping the names very close to its chest and so far it has not unveiled its names either in the centre or the province. “When we’ll disclose our names, they would be a lot better than what the PML-N is suggesting in the centre and in the province,” said former Punjab finance minister and PPP Punjab general secretary Tanvir Ashraf Kaira. He said the PML-N should have given the opposition the chance to send its proposals first like they did in the centre but they made their names public first which is like playing from both sides. “We have started the consultative process and we’ll come up with a consensus on two names very soon,” said Kaira. Kaira said that according to the constitution, the time to pick caretakers would start after March 16 and then there is a time limit on each step. The current prime minister and chief minister would continue till the caretakers are picked. According to Article 224 and 224A of the Constitution, government and opposition gets two days to reach consensus after March 16, after two days the matter would go to a bipartisan committee of government and opposition which gets three days to decide, and failing to do so, the matter will be sent to CEC in two days and the CEC will then decide the name in three days.

ing for a proper time," said a senior official of the bank. It is likely that Zaka Ashraf, who is still the most powerful member of the ZTBL BOD will take action after March 16, after the fall of this government. Zaka and other members of the board are concerned that if they take a step against the bank president Ihsan ul Haq Khan before the dissolution of the government then Mr. Khan may hit back through a step by the Prime Minister himself. "They think that Prime Minister Raja will dissolve the board within hours if they do anything against Ihsan ul Haq Khan. So they are

very careful and waiting for a proper time," the official said. He said that Zaka and his friends will take a decisive step against Ihsan ul Haq Khan after March 16 when Raja Pervez Ashraf will not be there and President Zardari will be very much in office to further strengthen Zaka Ashraf. Ihsan ul Haq, who is currently surviving by the skin of his neck at this crucial political juncture for Raja sahib, is meanwhile busy in consolidating his position by pleasing the rank and file of the bank. “He wants to turn his weaknesses at the top level into strengths by assembling the officers and lower staff around him as a shield,” commented one of the BOD members seeking anonymity. However, Zaka’s men believe that it is very unlikely that Ihsan will survive long after the dissolution of this government. Meanwhile, Ihsan ul Haq Khan on Monday promoted some 1,100 employees to gain some support from the staff in his crucial times. He announced the promotion of 700 officers and 400 clerical staff, but it is still difficult for him to give a tough time to Zaka because he enjoys the backing of the most powerful officials such as the members of BOD, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President HR. On the other hand, the members of Board of Directors met on Monday in Islamabad and pressurized Ihsan ul Haq Khan to take stern legal steps against all those officers and employees who are resisting Zaka and his people's interference in bank affairs. Sources said that the BOD also discussed a list of defaulters and the possibilities of waiving off the loans of some influential defaulters.

ZTBL stands by Zaka Ashraf  The Spokesman stands by its News ISLAMABAD: The Public Relations department of Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) has issued a clarification in response to The Spokesman’s story in which we reported that Zaka Ashraf does not qualify for the post of member Board of Directors (BOD) and President of ZTBL because he did not clear state Bank of Pakistan’s Fit and Proper Test (FPT). ZTBL’s Vice President PR clarified that “the Board of Directors ZTBL was constituted by the federal government vide notification dated June 14, 2010 after going through a strict clearance procedure under Fit & Proper Test Criteria carried out by SBP.” He says “ZTBL did not waived off any loans on the instructions of Ch. Zaka Ashraf or any other member of the Board of Directors. This is not true that beneficiaries of this waiver were mostly influential having relations with ex-President. Policy for write off remission of the bank is for stuck up loans and is for all the eligible borrowers as per criteria mentioned therein. This is not true that this policy mainly benefited the customers having loans of over one million rupees. In fact, the major beneficiaries of write off/remission policy are the small farmers. Write off /remission to the companies was allowed as per approved policy of the Bank and has already been disclosed/printed in annual accounts of the bank as per requirements of the regular regulations.” The Spokesman stands by the information it published and we have valid documents in support of all the facts. According to a State Bank notification no BPRO (CGD)/682-23/x/2008/ issued on August 22, 2008, copy of which is with The Spokesman, Zaka Ashraf and four other members of the ZTBL board were declared unfit through Fit & Proper Test. Later, Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench disqualified Zaka Ashraf on August 27, 2010 as a member of the ZTBL board (two and a half months after the reconstitution of the Board of Directors). Justice Asad Munir of the Lahore High Court wrote in his judgment: “I have no hesitation in declaring that the appointment of respondent no 6 (Zaka Ashraf ) to the post of President, Zari

Taraqiati Bank Limited has been made unlawfully and cannot be sustained. Consequently, I have no option but to hold that respondent no 6 has been unable to show the authority of law under which he holds the post of President, Zari Taraqiati Bank Limited, and as such, his appointment made vide notification dated August 30, 2008, issued by the Government of Pakistan, Finance Division (Internal Finance Wing) and subsequently confirmed by the Board of Directors of ZTBL, is also without lawful authority and of no legal effect.” The issue of waiving off loans is also being undertaken by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and the employees of ZTBL themselves have challenged this step. Another petition, filed in the IHC prays “the present tenure of the Board of Directors, the directors proceeded to act in violation of law with thereby extending illegal benefit to some client mostly on politically ground by applying the SBP Circular No.22 of 2002 which was not applicable in the case. The Board approved a sole called credit policy in Part –V whereof it was provided for the waiver/write off of the financed in term of SBP Circular dated 5.06.2007. But as a matter of fact, the said provision was utilized for illegal waiver/write off certain loans not in terms of SBP Circular dated 05.06.2007 but in terms of BPD Circular No.29 of 2002 which was approved by the Board of Directors thereby causing loss to the public exchequer to the tune of Rs.2113.629 millions, a brief of which is available on the website of ZTBL. List included the influential business entrepreneurs and the political persons having influence at the helm of affairs which were illegally benefited by the said illegal exercise. The said directors are guilty of corruption and corrupt practices in terms of Section 9 of the National Accountability Ordinance and the misconduct on the code of ethics and banking norms and procedure. The said benefit was not extended to the small farmers.” The Spokesman once again makes it clear that we stand by our news in the light of these evidences and also have a complete list of the defaulters whose loans were written-off by the bank.


Senate also passes Capital University Bill ‘I need feminism’ launched at LUMS SHANEL KHALIQ

ISLAMABAD: A small group of teachers and students at the Lahore University of Management Sciences launched an “I need feminism” campaign on International Women’s Day this year. Around 300 members of the university took part in the campaign that includes teachers, staff members and students. Today for most people, the term feminism sparks the idea of a pseudo intellectual, elitist and strong headed female who disregards religion and culture. However, it is safe to assume that this is a much misconstrued interpretation of the term. Although, the ideology and movement of feminism has come a long way over the years and encompasses many fronts, however, the crux of the term remains advocacy for equal rights for women in political, economic and social spheres. The movement has its roots in understanding gender relations and the projection of women in a host of disciplines including literature, anthropology, politics and society. Pakistan still lags behind much of the world with regards to women emancipation. Indicators showing female literacy and employment are still disheartening in most areas of the country. However, the campaign started at LUMS aims to eradicate many of the inherent biases from the society. The students held placards to show their support for feminism and derided social norms that inhibit women from expressing themselves. They highlighted a plethora of issues ranging from serious ones such as hijab, honour and sexual harassment to lighter ones such as stereotypical attitudes about female mannerisms. Nida Kirmani, a sociology instructor at LUMS, says “I was unsure of what the response to such an initiative would be, particularly as the word 'feminism' has received a bad name around the world and particularly in Pakistan.” However, she said that she encouraged students to go ahead with the campaign with the hope that it would at least start a dialogue and the response was incredible. Nida, along with other members of the community, is positive that the campaign will trigger healthy debate and will be successful in promoting equality.

PML-Likeminded leader Arbab Rahim in Lahore LAHORE: Arbab Ghulam Rahim, a former provincial chief minister and the head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Likeminded (PML-L), has arrived in Pakistan. Rahim, who was in self-exile in the UAE for quite a while now, strategically chose to land here at the Allama Iqbal International Airport to avoid possible arrest. According to sources, Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) had already made arrangements to accord him a warm welcome. Speaking to the media at the airport, he said that his homecoming was purely voluntary, adding no one had forced him to return to Pakistan. “I am here on my own free will. I had already disclosed my repatriation plans,” he said. To a question about his upcoming political activities in Punjab, he said meetings with the PML-N leadership topped the list of his political priorities. ONLINE

PML-N constitutes boards to select candidates LAHORE: PML-N has constituted Parliamentary Boards to select candidates for National and provincial assemblies seats. The boards which have been set up in all the four provinces under the directives of PMLN President Nawaz Sharif will evolve recommendations in respect of the candidates to be fielded by the party to contest election on national and provincial assemblies seats. The central parliamentary board will accord final approval to the candidates. Mian Shahbaz Sharif will head the PB constituted for Punjab province. This 23-member board will include opposition leader in national assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ishaq Dar, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Rana Sana Ullah Khan and Tehmina Daultana. ONLINE

Arson exposed Punjab govt LAH ORE: Pakistan Muslim LeagueQ Lahore Vice President Nasir Ramazam Gujjar has said that the pre planned Joseph Colony incident exposed the intolerant Punjab government. Addressing a corner meeting of party’s office-bearers and workers on Wednesday, he said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was ordering inquiries only to cover sins of his government. After the Supreme Court ruling into the incident, no statement of the chief minister would be acceptable, he said. Nasir Gujjar said that the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the government report which proved that the provincial government had failed to protect citizens. PR

Senator Bangash asks ministry to declare emergency in education sector for five years


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Training on Wednesday passed the Capital University Islamabad Bill, 2013 (Private Members Bill) on a condition that it would be requiring an NOC from the HEC. During the meeting, the committee’s chairman, Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash, directed the ministry to take “sufficient steps” toward promoting education by declaring an emergency in the education sector for five

years. According to him, the country could not develop by ignoring the education sector. While passing the bill, the chairman said that funds from different institutions should be diverted towards education sector for its uplifting. However the representative from the ministry said that due to the efforts of the committee, the education sector is witnessing positive changes and the first step towards its betterment has been taken. Senator Heman Dass after the meeting while talking to The Spokesman said that the bill has been passed, but conditionally. He said the bill

was already passed from the National Assembly and as only few days are left of the parliament’s dissolution, any delay from the senate’s committee could have freeze the entire bill for a long period with some conditions. “The university will not start its working and admissions until it gets and NOC from the HEC and it will be functional only if it follows the laws and HEC and the ministry are satisfied with it,” said Senator Heman Dass. The other members of the committee who attended the meeting were Senator Haji Khan Afridi, Senator Ch. Muhammad Jaffar Iqbal,

Sheikh Waqas Akram, Federal Minister for Education and Training, Secretary Education Qamar Zaman. However, Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, Dr Saeeda Iqbal, Saeed Ghanni and Robeena Irfan were also invited. Earlier, the Capital University Islamabad Bill, 2013 was passed by the National Assembly on February 16 and was laid in Senate on March 11, where Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel moved the bill for consideration. However, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar opposed the motion and suggested that the bill may be referred to the Standing committee for consideration.

Harassment of witnesses won’t be tolerated: SC MASOOD REHMAN

LAHORE: Doctors treating residents of Joseph Colony in their tent homes. ONLINE

PPP again fails to bring ISI under parliament 

Bill to give supremacy to spies over PM sails through Senate


ISLAMABAD: The upper house of the parliament on Wednesday passed a bill (National Counter-Terrorism Authority Act, 2013) to ensure supremacy of intelligence agencies over the prime minister. The Clause 6, Sub-Clause 3 of the bill describes that the presence of director generals of various intelligence agencies, including ISI, MI and IB, will be mandatory in all meetings of the NACTA Board of Governors would be headed while taking decision on any policy issue. The board will be headed by the prime minister as its chairman, while the remaining members of authority will be ministers of interior, law and justice, finance and defence, directors general of ISI, MI, IB, FIA, and chief ministers of all provinces, prime minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir, one member each recommended from Senate and National Assembly, national coordinator, chief secretaries of the provinces and Azad Jammu Kashmir and IGs of police of all provinces and AJK. Law Minister Farooq H. Naik tabled the bill. Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader Raza Rabbani opposed the bill, saying

according to the bill the counter authority was not an independent institution, as it would work under the bureaucracy. Opposing the various clauses of the bill, Senator Raza Rabbani said that Clause 6, SubClause 3 provides preeminence of the intelligence agencies over the premier of the country. “If the DGs of the intelligence agencies, with any reason, do not attend the board meeting, the board chairman (prime minister) will not be able to do anything,” he maintained. He said that the aims of the bill, including NACTA as independent body under chairmanship of the prime minister and, to create coordination between all the stakes were not addressed in the bill. “We want to bring the ISI under the parliament to control the role of the department,” he added. Rabbani was of the view that according to the bill the counter authority was not an independent institution, as it would work under the bureaucracy. He also said that the army would command a superior position, as the prime minister would not be able to do anything if head of any agency didn’t attend its meetings. Rabbani also objected over the inclusion of a federal secretary in the authority’s executive committee and questioned his expertise in

counter terrorism. The clause 8, sub-clause 1 empowered federal minister of interior as chairman executive committee of NACTA, while the other members of the committee comprised on federal secretaries including ministry of interior, finance, foreign affairs, defense and ministry of law and justice. However, the Senate approved the bill with majority. Opposition leader Ishaq Dar tabled Electoral Laws amendment act, which was unanimously adopted by the house. The Senate also passed [Election laws (Amendment) Act, 2013], which was tabled by leader of the opposition Senator Ishaq Dar. The certain amendment bill was aimed to reverse the ‘Chief Executive Order No.7 of 2002’ issued by former president Musharaf restricted the candidates to submit nomination paper in person and returning officer will acknowledge receipt of the nomination paper specifying the date and time of receipt. However after passing of amendment bill, every nomination paper shall be delivered to the Returning Officer by the candidate or authorise in writing by the candidate by his nominee and the returning officer will acknowledge receipt of the nomination paper specifying the date and time of receipt.

Miserable situation awaits ‘Sheikho and Co’ ISLAMABAD: Hours away from first ever natural expiry in Pakistan’s treacherous political history, coalition government of the People’s Party continues to deal with its internal and external uncertainties thus leaving bagful of miserable situation for the ‘chosen’ caretakers. Ranging from Balochistan to Karachi, from drone attacks to terrorism, from IP gas pipeline to US pressures, from governance issue to competence and more importantly what is topping it all is the empty coffers and increased burden of foreign and internal debts, all will be on the table for the IMF nominees (Sheikho and Co). Yet, the entire government, including the Madam speaker is hosting one after the other farewell for successful completion of five years of their government. As if politicians, from across the aisle were not sure that they would be able to complete this tenure without overarching support of a strong GHQ or the American Viceroy, many of them still cannot believe that they have completed a normal course of five years and yet there seems no signs of a military takeover. Certain glitches here and there, attempts to involve GHQ and even embroil Americans and of course a

continuous pouring in of they want to disclose that how corruption scandals remained the many judges in superior courts of order of five years. The completion the country holds dual nationality,” of five years has nevertheless seen were the comments heard in the PPP ending up for the first time Senate. The impression one gets from the since 70s holding majority in the upper house of the parliament and recent hike in attacks from Senate that’s why PPP senators have upped shows that PPP would continue to the ante these days against their raise objections over the role of new found antagonists; i.e ECP and ECP and the judiciary, especially when Fakhru Bhai refuses to meet judiciary. Yesterday, the venom against ECP federal law minister and judiciary was effectively countered by backs it up with nothing but a judiciary by giving them the much political statement, revealed the group of PPP needed support senators talking but today the PPP to this scribe. “Are jiyalas turned judges above the their artillery law or has come towards the BY SAEED MINHAS from Mars?,” was judiciary by moving a motion in the upper the remark of a senior Jiyala house to seek details of the judges Senator which amused everyone holding dual nationality. None sitting in the cozy comforts of other than spokesperson to the leader of the House in the president, Senator Farhat Ullah parliament building to the extent Babar presented this motion to that it opened the gates of nothing initiate a small hit-and-run attack less than floodwaters against the judiciary. on judiciary. With each falling mist of this Raising objections over the quasi state within state posture of the flood came a new revelation either higher judiciary, PPP senators like about Musharraf-judges era, or Farhat Babar and Saeed Ghani about Malik Riaz-Ch Arslan affair, marched on to question the unprecedented rise in their salaries credentials of the judicial demi- or backdoor parleys between gods. “They are not ready to get expelled premier Gilani and various their accounts audited by the judges, about judiciary-media parliamentary committee, nor do lethal duo or about multiple plots

Press Gallery

of judges in various housing schemes across the country. The list was never ending and unfortunately, the room was filled only with senators and there was no one there to defend the time-tested suo-motos of the superior judiciary. Meanwhile, many contenders for the caretaker cabinets (both federal and provincial), sans the top slots for which one of the two final horses, one each from Nawaz League and PPP, are already waiting in the dug for the marching orders, have started making a bee line in and around infamous Aabpara offices. Many interviews have been conducted for the few slots of the caretaker ministers but still screening of many more is expected, which also include many of our journos, especially the ones called by Zardari as political actors. Nevertheless, the entire government and even opposition were enjoying the maiden peaceful democratic farewell of a government which, sans few months of Musharraf was not headed by any military dictator. Though the question of civilian dictatorship remained very much a question throughout this government but with the caretakers sitting around the corner, a test of nerves and skills for political leadership is very much on.

I SLAMABAD: Hearing a plea by a National Accountability Bureau investigating officer about harassment of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority implementation case witnesses, the Supreme Court on Wednesday warned if something negative happened to them (witnesses) the nominated people would be responsible. The case is about some high-profile officials’ corruption, and 13 bigwigs are creating obstacles in the investigation of the mega scam. A three-member bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, said, “Strict action will be taken against these people after proof.” Meanwhile, despite court orders, Rawalpindi NAB director general did not appear before the judges. A NAB deputy prosecutor general informed the court that the DG has proceeded to London to participate in the graduation ceremony of his son. Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja said it was strange that despite the lapse of over two months, no action was taken to ensure protection of the witnesses. He said if it was proved that these 13 people were creating hurdles in the way of dispensation of justice, stern action will be taken against them. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said it seemed as if NAB was not an institution for eradicating corruption, instead it was protecting and promoting the corruption.

A good day for critics of judiciary ZEESHAN JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: The constitutional courts have become need of the hour and in a serious effort to make it possible, it should be made part of party manifesto to curtail Supreme Court powers to interpret the constitution. This was stated by Farhatullah Babar, a Senator of the ruling PPP. He was speaking on a motion moved by him for debate on Supreme Court’s lack of response in disclosing the names of its dual national judges despite repeated requests by the Senate. The Senate had asked the top court of the country to inform it about the judges holding dual nationality, if there is any, after the rejection of petition filed by Dr Tahirul Qadri ‘dual national religious cleric, for reconstitution of Election Commission of Pakistan. “We will set up constitutional courts next time [and] it must be included in the manifesto of all political parties because it was agreed in charter of democracy signed by late Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif,” Senator Babar, who is also spokesman of President Asif Ali Zardari, maintained. Another critic of judiciary, Senator Saeed Ghani from PPP said that all the decisions are being taken by the Supreme Court on its own where there is no room for the constitution. “I was a great critic of Qadri but today I’m with him because he was disgraced by Supreme Court on the grounds that he is a dual national…if dual nationality is that dangerous, why the judges are reluctant to disclose their nationality, if there is any,” he questioned. Forget about the judges, he continued, adding that even registrar Supreme Court has become so powerful that he takes notes and put it to the chief justice, followed by suo moto by the chief justice on the press clipping or the comments of talk show hosts. He also accused Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry of pressurising police, rejecting an FIR registered at a police station in Karachi when of one of his associates went missing. Awami National Party’s (ANP) general secretary, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel said that the idols carved by the parliament, have become its godfathers. They make fun of parliament through their suo motos, which is not accepted at all, he added.


Strikes without approval anger senior lawyers PBC members submit application against ‘aimless’ protests A former SCBA president says lawyers should stop strikes without solid reason MUZAMMIL HUSSAIN SYED

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council, the highest elected body of lawyers, has taken a serious notice of strikes by some lawyers without approval from a proper forum. After an application by senior members, the PBC has swung into an action against the violators. Sources told The Spokesman that some PBC members move an application/request to the Pakistan Bar Council executive committee to take action against aimless strikes by lawyers who are even not consulting proper forum in this regard.

According to the PBC rules, the agitations without approval come in misconduct. A former Supreme Court Bar Association president is among the two lawyers who submitted the request in this regard. In their request, the senior lawyers demanded of the PBC executive committee to take strict action and solid measures to stop aimless protests every month and protect the litigants who was suffering by this practice. Confirming the application, PBC Member Yaseen Azad also asked the executive committee to adopt proper measures according to the rules to stop aimless practices of some lawyers. “We must know that

this practice not only damaging unity among lawyers but also wasting time,” he said, adding that needless closure of the courts is spoiling the purpose of the speedy justice from many years. Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Tariq Mehmood said that there were no set rules which were supporting strikes without any national issue. On March 9, the lawyers have divided again to mark the black day or not. A number of lawyers remained untouched from the strike call on the black day. However, some lawyers boycotted court proceedings and observed March 9 as a black day across the country. The strike call was

without any decision of the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association. On March 2007, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was deposed from his post as the chief justice of Pakistan unconstitutionally. Yaseen Azad, also a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, said that no doubt the current independent judiciary an outcome of the lawyers’ struggle. “But we should stop now strike practice without any national issue and solid reason,” he said, adding that aimless strikes come in the misconduct, according to the PBC rules. Islamabad High Court Bar Association

President Syed Nayab Gardezi said that the black day was observed as the chief justice of Pakistan was unconstitutionally deposed on this day in 2007. Yaseen Azad also demanded to fulfill the vacant posts of the judges in the superior judiciary immediately while consulting all the stakeholders. Former Supreme Court Bar senior vice president Muhammad Ikraam Chaudhry has said that there was a dire need to make a proper strategy for the speedy justice. In the past, appointment of the administrative judge for the trail court was a good decision and high court should take needful administrative decisions again, he suggested.

Prolific Seraiki poet no more OUR STAFF REPORTER

Arrest orders issued in Bugti murder case

ISLAMABAD: Nasiruddin Sarmad, a wellknown prolific Seraiki poet, passed away on Monday after extended illness. The late poet, who started his career as a schoolteacher, joined the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board for preparing a Seraiki elementary textbook. The Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to introduce teaching of regional languages including Pashto, Hindko, Seraiki, Kohistani and Gojri in all state-run educational institutions. Besides this, the late poet was credited with having written a number of plays. Sujhla, Damaan and Pokray Paiyom and Azab are some of his well-known books. Nasiruddin Sarmad also worked with the

QUETTA: District and Session Court has cancelled the bail of former provincial Home minister Mir Shoaib Nausherwani and ordered the investigation team probing former Balochistan governor Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case to arrest him. Hearing of the case was held here in the District and Session Court on Wednesday. On the occasion, the court ordered Nausherwani’s arrest, as he did not appear before the court. Hearing of the case was adjourned till March 15. –ONLINE

33 detained farmers recovered from ‘jail’ KHAIRPUR: Sawara police raided a private jail of a local influential and set free 33 non-Muslim farmers, imprisoned since five years. The action was taken over a petition filed by Wali Bhel, following which the court ordered police to raid the premises. Sharif Mehr, an influential, detained the farmers without providing basic necessities of life. All the detained famers, including Guddi, Sonari, Paryo Marwari, Hiresh, Nand Lal, Chandar Kumar, Shabnam Marwari and others, would be produced before the court. During the raid, the influential was not available. –ONLINE

Drug addict father kills son over bread MULTAN: A father killed his 11-yearold son when he asked for some bread (roti) from his step mother. As per reports, 11-year-old Bilawal was brutally beaten up by his father with a stick when he asked for some bread from his step mother. Police has taken the body into custody and shifted it to Nishtar Hospital for postmortem. A case has been registered against the criminal. According to police, the father is a drug addict. –ONLINE

MNA’s guards assault student over sport KARACHI: Member of National Assembly (MNA) from Jacobabad Aijaz Jakhrani’s guards assaulted a student on Wednesday. According to reports, the assaulted student was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Jakhrani’s son got into a fight during a football match following which the guards assaulted the student. A case has been lodged at the Boat Basin police station against Jakhrani’s sons Rafay and Harris along with five guards. –ONLINE

Free education for handicapped at Arid RAWALPINDI: Arid University has approved free education and lodging facility for the handicapped students. Approval was accorded in a meeting of Academic Council (AC) of the university held here under the vice chancellor Professor Dr Roy Niaz Ahmad. Senior faculty members, heads of different departments of the university, Faculty deans, institute directors, librarian, registrars and controller examination attended the meeting. The meeting approved the establishment of new faculty for agriculture engineering besides provision of education and lodging facilities free to the handicapped students. –ONLINE

Govt should protect rights of labourers: CM PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti has said that it is foremost duty of the government to protect labourers’ rights and solve their problems. He said that the present government has taken revolutionary measures for the welfare of the labourers. Talking to a delegation of Labour Colony Mardan, he said that the sole aim of his politics was to serve the downtrodden segment of the society. He said that workers welfare board has approved funds for various development schemes in the colony. –ONLINE

Pagara gives 3 names for caretaker CM

BANNU: JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman speaks during a grand jirga of tribesmen of North Waziristan Agency. –ONLINE

Alleged love affair

Soldier stoned to death in Kurram

Some 50 tribesmen stone ‘accused’ after jirga orders sentence MONITORING DESK

PESH AWAR: A soldier has been stoned to death over allegations of an affair with a teenage girl in Kurram Agency, located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In Parachinar, a tribal jirga ordered the sentence on Anwar-ud-Din, who was about 25 years old, for having ‘illicit’ relations with a local girl. “There were some 40 to 50 people who hit the man with stones till he bled to death,” said a local tribesman on condition of anonymity. Din was accused of having an affair with an 18-year-old girl and meeting her secretly, but

Interim setup with consultation ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Sumsam Bukhari has said that interim prime minister would nominated with consultation of all political stakeholders to conduct free, fair and transparent election in the country. He said political forces were now highly matured to resolve all the critical issues including the establishment of caretaker setup for the election. He said that PPP has believed on democratic norms and all the issues would be solved with consensus. –AGENCIES

both were caught on Sunday in a graveyard, the tribesman said. Relations between men and women without family approval are considered immoral in the deeply tribal areas. Hundreds are killed around the country each year in the name of defending family honour, but stoning is extremely rare. The soldier admitted he had met the girl three or more times before and the punishment was carried out on Tuesday in the graveyard where the pair was discovered, the tribesman said, adding that the body was later taken to hospital. Local government and security officials confirmed the incident, but declined to comment.

The fate of the girl remains unclear, but there were rumours in the area that she may also have been executed, although she denied the affair, the tribesman said. A hospital official confirmed that they had received a mutilated body on Tuesday, which was later taken away by paramilitary forces. “It was really a horrific sight. The body had been badly damaged after being hit by stones. Wounds all over and the face could no longer be recognised,” the official said. The tribal districts do not have a regular legal system and justice is dispensed according to tribal and religious custom by councils of elders.

KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League–F has approved three names for Sindh caretaker chief minister, according to a private TV channel on Wednesday. The approved names include that of Aslam Sanjrani, Khair Muhammad Junejo and Hussain Abdullah. Earlier, the PMLF had accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – on its decision to sit on opposition benches – of conspiring with the ruling PPP to gain more authority in setting up interim government. After the 18th Amendment, the role of the opposition leader has gained considerable significance. The amendment bounds the chief minister to consult with the opposition leader to appoint caretaker chief ministers in the province. The Sindh chief minister had earlier in the week requested the opposition to furnish their names for the caretaker set-up. –ONLINE

History Museum going online

UNESCO provides help in developing virtual tour of museum ISLAMABAD: UNESCO will help Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) in developing its online virtual tour so that the entire world people, especially the researchers and students could benefit from its facilities, said UNESCO Country Director Dr Kozue Kay Nagata on Wednesday. Speaking as chief guest at the launching ceremony of Audio Commentary Equipment, Dr Nagata said that UNESCO will also help the museum in documentary on Shark Whale specimen’s stuffing and exhibition process as well as digitization of the museum collection. UNESCO’s support to the museum is based on its concept to promote science and education according to its mandate. She said though PMNH is small but unique in terms of its collection, especially of fossils that reveal natural history of millions years past. Dr Nagata said though the donation of commentary equipment is a small contribution but it will help visitors a lot in understanding the exhibits during

their visit to the Museum. The equipment will make museum more scientific and dynamic, she said, adding, launching the commentary equipment at PMNH is a pilot project and later this facility will also be replicated in other museums of Pakistan. She also spoke on UNESCO and PSF collaboration, which is going on since long for promotion of science. She made a mention to some of their collaborative programmes, especially Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and inquiry-based Science Education Programme. On the occasion, Dr Manzoor Soomro stressed the need for developing collaboration with other organizations in order to achieve common goals. He said the common goal of UNESCO and PSF is promotion of science. He said the concepts of UNESCO programmes are key to science education system. He said the digitization process of the museum collection will add new dimension to their collaboration. –ONLINE

Christians demonstrate in Landi Kotal AHMAD NABI KHYBER AGENC Y: Christian community on Wednesday held a protest demonstration against the Joseph Colony incident in which a violent mob attacked houses of Christians in Lahore, in front of the Landi Kotal Press Club. Despite heavy rain, a large number of Christians along with workers of different political parties and representatives of NA-45 candidate participated in the rally that was started from Hospital Chowk and ended in front of the Press Club. The protesters led by Arshad Masih and Chaudhry Akhtar Zaman were holding placards inscribed with slogans in favour

of their demands. They were also chanted full throat slogans against the Punjab government and police. Addressing the gathering,

Christian community leader Arshad Masih strongly condemned the Joseph Colony incident and said that it was totally unjustified to punish the

whole community for the crime committed by a single person. He came hard on Punjab police and said that they deliberately let the violent mob to storm the Joseph Colony. Akhtar Zaman expressed dissatisfaction over the substandard reconstruction works by the Punjab government after the destruction at the Joseph Colony and said that houses should be rebuilt from its foundation. They demanded of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the atrocities against the Christian community in Punjab. The Landi KotalTorkham Road was suspended for all kind of traffic for time being due to protest.

Radio Pakistan as script writer and host. His whole career was associated with literature and he was an ardent supporter of the Seraiki movement who also organised several literary activities along these lines in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank districts. Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Abdul Hameed while expressing sorrow over this loss said that Nasiruddin Sarmad was an important name in the list of Seraiki poets and dramatists and his services towards the promotion of Seraiki language and literature would be remembered for a long time. Sarmad’s associations with the media as well as literature gave him immense popularity among the masses.



Will India finally see the light?

Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498


Originally conceived as the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, the project has finally taken off minus India. If Pakistan could ward off the relentless US pressure to discard it, why has India failed so miserably to pursue something that is clearly in its interest?

The US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson hinted a few days back that his country, besides supporting the TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, is also interested in financing the 4500MW Diamer Bhasha hydropower project keeping in view the ongoing energy crisis in Pakistan. He rubbed in the point that his country’s support in the rehabilitation and upgradation of Tarbela dam would also alleviate the crisis. While he was making this statement at Tarbela, his colleague Victoria Nuland addressed a press conference in Washington, expressing her country’s reservations on the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project and didn’t hesitate to hint at a couple of sanctions on Pakistan. By now it should be quite clear that the US was never pleased to hear about the project. Ryan Crocker, an ex US ambassador in Islamabad, while talking to the state-run TV, very openly said that hampering the IP gas pipeline was not in the US interest but it would be “going too far” to suggest that the US would support the project. This could be the starting point to understand the impediments, but to identify the real hurdles one has to follow the Indian stance. Why is there a controversy today about this pipeline? It should be known to all and sundry as to which country was keenest for the dream to turn into reality? It must be mentioned that the original idea was conceived by a young Pakistani civil engineer Malik Aftab Ahmed Khan in the mid 1950s. Later it was mooted in 1989 by Dr R. K. Pachauri, Director General of TERI in India, and Dr A.S. Ardekani of Iran. Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world. It made sense to supply gas to India, which was then gas-deficient and still is. Pakistan and Iran signed a preliminary agreement for the construction of a natural gas

Scarecrow of sanctions Despite strong opposition and warnings of economic sanctions from the US, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad officially inaugurated the construction work on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline on Monday. Iran has completed 900 km of pipeline on its side of the border, and the Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group will undertake all engineering procurement and construction work for the first segment of the project, which starts from the Iran-Pakistan border. Tehran has also agreed to lend Islamabad $500 million against the estimated $1.5 billion cost of the 750 km Pakistani section of the pipeline. In Pakistan, an ill-informed discourse is being generated about the possibility of US sanctions on Pakistan. Some analysts draw a gloomy picture and imply that Pakistan will suffer the wrath of the sole super power. These analysts are solely interested in protecting the US interests as a knee-jerk reflex. Before strengthening the fear of going against the US diktat, they would be well-advised to examine the scope of the US sanctions and their possible repercussions on Pakistan. In fact, the first question is whether the US can slap sanctions on Pakistan when Iran-Sanctions Act is applicable to individuals, companies and financial institutions, and not states? Going by the provisions of the Act, it cannot. The US can, however, create difficulties for Pakistan. Imposing sanctions on Pakistan will not be in the interest of the US though. If past is any guide, there is no cause for alarm at the present, because till the time the US needs Pakistan, it will not slap sanctions on it. During the Zia era there were nuclearrelated sanctions on Pakistan but the Bush administration turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear program till the Soviet forces remained on Afghan soil. Besides, one cannot rule out the possibility of Iran reaching an agreement on its nuclear program. Economic cooperation with partners like China and Pakistan could in fact be helpful in creating the right environment for such an agreement. Beyond unilateral and multilateral measures against Iran's economy, the US has since 1996 threatened to impose secondary sanctions against third-country entities doing business with Iran. In recent years, the US Congress has dramatically expanded the range of activities subjected to such sanctions, going beyond investments in Iranian oil and gas production to include simple purchases of Iranian crude and almost all financial transactions. Nevertheless, India and China are importing oil from Iran, and enjoying the waivers because of the leeway in the Act that allows them to progressively reduce these purchases. The original Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline would have been a stabilising element in Pakistan’s relations with India as well. But the US had offered India a civil-nuclear deal on the condition that it pulled out of the project. However, the US had refused to ink a similar deal with Pakistan - an old strategic ally and frontline state in its “war on terror”. The confidence that it could sway Pakistan away from the project without offering anything in return now lies shattered. The scarecrow of sanctions will not work either.

pipeline in 1995 linking the gas field in the Persian Gulf with Karachi, Pakistan’s main industrial port located on the Arabian Sea. Iran later proposed an extension of the pipeline from Pakistan to India. The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline was meant not only to meet India’s growing energy demand to a great extent, but also to benefit Pakistan from Iranian natural gas. As Pakistan’s territory was to be used as a transit route, it would have benefited from the transit fee as well. The IPI would have also enhanced the spirit of

called on Pakistan and Iran for trilateral talks, again and again. To the unbiased observers, that sounded more like a delaying tactic merely to keep Iran and Pakistan away from any further progress. Great work had been done, mainly in Iran and Pakistan for the IPI pipeline. A 44 inch pipeline from the Iranian coast city of Assaluyah, 1,115 km across the Iranian terrain to the Pakistan border, and another 760 km through Pakistan, to the Indian border was planned. The pipeline would have linked up with

Soon after signing a civilian nuclear deal with the United States in 2008, the Indians practically withdrew from the project over so-called pricing and security issues which they formally announced in 2009. It is high time for the Indians to listen to their experts who insist that India is an energy-starved country and direly needs a project like the IPI pipeline cooperation among the three countries. However, during a very important, and almost one of the concluding, sessions held in Tehran from September 24 to September 26, 2007, when the Indians did not show up due to gauche and gawky excuses, no one was left with any doubts about the “interests” and the changed priorities of the Indians. Soon after signing a civilian nuclear deal with the United States in 2008, the Indians practically withdrew from the project over socalled pricing and security issues which they formally announced in 2009. But for some mysterious reasons, they again showed interest in the project and from March 2010

Pakistan’s gas network before entering India, about 70 km short of the Indian border. Within India, a further 900 km was required to connect it with the north Indian market. It was anticipated that at its full capacity, Pakistan would use about 60 Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter per Day (MMSCMD) and India 90 MMSCMD. The total cost of the project was estimated at $4 billion at the time when the project was conceived. But that was not to be. One of the causes given by the Indians for delaying this deal was the so-called security hazard or threat to the pipeline, as it would pass through Pakistan. Not that the

Indians did not know about its route previously. Obviously, the basic reason for Indian reluctance to go ahead with the project is the US hostility to the Iran-PakistanIndia (IPI) pipeline. Offering the Civil-Nuclear deal to India, the US even made the suggestion that nuclear energy could meet all of India’s energy needs. Those who know about the US grudge against the Iranians are aware that the former has been opposed to the IPI pipeline because of the latter’s nuclear programme and its stand-off with the US and the West. Otherwise, the IPI pipeline makes a lot of sense for India. But the relentless opposition of the US will make it difficult for the country to pursue the IPI to meet its rapidly growing energy needs. The ambivalence of India about the pipeline had created an unforeseen problem and caused further delay in its execution. However, on 30 January 2013, the Pakistan's federal government approved a deal with Iran for laying the Pakistan's section of the pipeline and now the construction of the Pakistani section has started which is likely to be completed in about 22 months. In addition to the IPI option, the Indian officials had shown interest in the TAPI pipeline project as well. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his visit to Afghanistan in August 2005, had said at a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, ‘We need both pipelines’. The now reluctant Indians very well know that whichever pipeline - IPI or TAPI - they might opt for, Pakistan cannot be bypassed in any case. It is high time for the Indians to admit this reality, shun all nefarious games and listen to their experts who insist that India is an energystarved country and direly needs a project like the IPI pipeline. THE WRITER IS A MEDIA STRATEGIST, BILINGUAL COLUMNIST, PLAYWRIGHT AND AUTHOR

Rightists lead the way The recent protests organised in different cities against the Badami Bagh tragedy seem to be taking on a rightist, religious colour where no political solutions are offered. This was the case in the Hazara community and in other Shia protests too where the progressive, secular forces were not distinctly visible AAMIR HUSSAINI Today, I took part in some protest rallies in Khanewal and Multan organised to protest against the burning of Joseph Colony in Badami Bagh, Lahore. When a charged mob was burning the colony of Christian community, I received a phone call from Shehzad Francis and he suggested we record our protest against this shameful act of the fanatic mob. I agreed to this suggestion at once and sent messages to my friends in the journalist community and some social activists and political and religious leaders of the Muslim community asking them to organise a joint rally against extremism. The office holders of Khanewal Union of Journalists (KUJ), members of the Human Rights Commission district core group, political workers, and some political leaders joined us in the protest rally. When we reached the Church in Khanewal where we had decided to gather, we saw a religiously charged mob chanting religious slogans and a fiery father dominating that


Development in higher educational sector of agriculture The mounting domain of Pakistan is cited as a country based on agricultural economy with a massive diversity of appropriate climatic conditions, a well fertile land and a world renowned system of irrigation. During the year 20052010, agriculture had an average

congregation. This was not the intention and we had wanted these protests to be led by people of all denominations and all walks of life to come forward. The idea was to defuse the religious colour to this tragedy and protest in the name of all those vulnerable to State-condoned violence. We had wanted social activists, journalists, lawyers and political workers to move forward and lead the rally but our efforts failed when an angry young pastor took over charge and moved to the front. We did not wish for such an isolated colour to the protest rally. It seemed to me that we were back to talking religious hatred and not speaking about the politics of oppressed peoples. But despite the rightist leadership of the protest rally we joined in. When it was time to address the crowd, due to the extraordinary effort of Shahzad Francis I got some time to go up to the mike. I tried to expose the strategy adopted by so-called leaders of oppressed religious communities as a response to acts of terrorism. I tried to explain that the solution is not to go in the Rightist camp and isolate the

share of 24% in country’s GDP (gross domestic production). In sector of employment it contributes about 45% industry-wise employment. According to an estimate, 63% of the residents living in rural areas directly or indirectly earn from agriculture. (Economic Survey of Pakistan, 2010-2011) Despite of this factual importance of agriculture in country’s sphere, its significance is facing a refutation. The enrolment trends, research and development in agricultural sector is showing a decline. A research elaborates that only 1.2% of the students go for higher agricultural studies among the total number of students seeking higher education in Pakistan. The reasons behind this extremely low rate in Pakistan are: • Person’s on input and choice agency • The low prestige value and social image of the profession • Parental persuasion • Less opportunity structure and incentives

• • • • • • • • • •

Christian community from other communities living in Pakistan. I condemned the efforts of leaders who were pushing the oppressed community toward greater isolation and alienation, trying to exploit their religious emotion. I observed that the Rightist lobby was not happy with me and did not approve of my speaking there at all. I continued nevertheless. The protest rally in Multan went in the same direction. In Balochistan, too, a similar trend was observed when the Shia community protested against the targeting of the Hazara. The last sit-in was organised by the Majlise Wahadat ul Muslimeen (MWM) and there was a conscious effort of the leaders to exclude all those people who were trying to make the protest a joint effort of all communities. There too, we heard the negative propaganda of the Rightist clergy against liberal, progressive and radical forces. I do not believe in conspiracy theories, but I seriously doubt the sudden rising and popularity of some newly-born Rightist religious organisations and their new leaders like the MWM. It needs to be investigated

Lack of professional staff Gender label with profession Limited exposure Deficient curriculum Inefficient technicalities Peer influence Dearth counseling Deprived Governmental assistance Challenging scientific and humanities discipline Resource limitation Owing to the given disparities in higher educational sector of agriculture, one can draw the current picture of agricultural education in Pakistan; which is required to be improved certainly. Reforms should be amended in both public and private sector to improve the condition of agricultural education. There must be a proper systematic organization by HEC (higher education commission) regarding agri-based education. Students at secondary, intermediate, pre and post graduate levels must be counseled in such a way that they

who is involved in promoting and funding them. Liberal, progressive forces should study these changes to make sense of what is happening and why people are turning towards the clergy instead of a political and more enlightened response against such victimisation. It is time to raise the question of why this oppression is only viewed as religion-based hatred and how the clergy is helping support this view, gaining control of oppressed communities like the Christian, Shia, Barelvi, Ahmadi, Hindu, and the Scheduled Castes. One reason is that liberal and left forces are not strong enough to make a joint front with these oppressed and victimised religious communities. They do not come forward and actively participate in protests and have no ideas or solutions to offer. The other reason is our security establishment which patronises terrorist outfits of different kinds and funds them. Even mainstream Rightist political parties are known to have their own religious factions. In my view, it is high time progressive and Left groups and individuals came to the front by

come across the importance of agriculture. • The over generalized views about the agricultural education and profession must be bringing to an end. • The over emphasis by the parents and teachers to not opt such subjects has to be discouraged. • The status symbol becoming hindrance in the path of higher agricultural studies must be reformed • Proper resources allocation in the universities imparting agricultural studies is required • The involvement of agriculturists in policy making is also admirable After doing such reforms , the man power in agricultural sector would be skilled and well efficient that will lead to betterment in agriculture which in turn will draw the graph of country’s development in an ascending trend and contribute well in country’s economy. SAMAN ZAHRA LAHORE

first forming a broad united front against terrorism and then forging alliances with religious minorities being targeted. They must offer support and political solutions, and they must lead or at least join the protests, rallies, camps of such communities with their own identities and agendas of a progressive secular identity. This is critical if this country is not to fall into the trap of the Right-wing in projecting Pakistan as a religiously bigoted country when vested interests play out their plans for our future. Pakistan seriously faces the danger of a sectarian civil war and this is being directed by the Right wing. The Left-liberals need to make their presence felt at such a time and come forward to make peace committees in which Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Christians, Hindus and others have representation. There is a need to reject the sectarian narrative doing the rounds in our streets and markets. This is the only solution to save this society from a free fall into anarchy.

Ignoring marble market


It also envisaged a bridge linking this island with DHA phase VIII. Probably, BT has done nothing new and only dusted off some old brochures and showed as investment bonanza. The rest is Faustian deal, wherein media has sold objectivity for BT's dirty money.

Neglect on the part of the government has made the nation suffer on many fronts, and it seems as if the marble market is unfortunately following suit. The fact that we are actually ignoring invitations of prominent construction MANZOOR ALI companies from around the globe, defies belief! There is so much that we ALIMANZ@GMAIL.COM can learn from them, and there is so much that we can enhance through Birds of the same flock fly together. cooperation with foreign countries. Beware! When are we actually going to wake up? Things must change. AZHAR SAEED INFOAXIS@GMAIL.COM KHADIJA SARFARAZ Feedback from the web

Kramer versus Malik Riaz-not again

Too fast

News headlines move too fast to read. Please increase this duration to stay a bit more (few seconds) before showing the next. It's too annoying. Thanks. YOUSUF

Bundal Island has been in news since 2006, when there were reports of Dubai construction giant EMMAR building a city with about 15,000 houses and an estimated cost of US $ 43 billion.


Please email your letters to or post them to our address in Islamabad.


In defence of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy Rowling is often presented as a stultifyingly middle-class and cosy writer. That's unfair, her adult fiction makes a clear political point like few novels do. The Casual Vacancy wants you to exercise your feelings in the service of people you don't know SARAH DITUM Nobody thinks of JK Rowling as a great literary radical. Even the people who love her wouldn't claim she's an artist of the experimental: there's not much chance of confusing The Casual Vacancy with, say, the work of BS Johnson. Writing about child wizards or council elections, her style is continuous with the nineteenthcentury peak of realist storytelling of Dickens, Eliot, Trollope: plots that drive and characters who stand with absolute vividness. When you come to a Rowling novel, you know your fourth wall is structurally secure. Sometimes, that stylistic continuity gets mistaken for political complacency. When I was studying literature at university in 2005, one of my lecturers contrasted the Potter books with James Kelman's How Late it Was, How Late: Rowling represented the stultifying conservatism of the middle-class voice, Kelman was the jagged working-class breach in the bourgeois smoothness of letters. It seemed a slightly unfair way to make the point then, and even more so now her adult fiction is in view. Because while The Casual Vacancy isn't a difficult or particular abrasive novel, it's one that asks readers to do something hard, necessary and deeply unfashionable: The Casual Vacancy wants you to exercise your feelings in the service of people you don't know, people you may not meet or even like, but people whose lives are nevertheless knotted up with your own. And speaking at the Bath Literature Festival on Friday night, she was unambiguously clear that she had a political motive for this kind of writing. ‘It would be pointless to pretend I wasn't trying to make a point,’ she said. The Casual Vacancy was a reaction to specific concerns about Britain now: ‘I'm worried about the lack of empathy in our culture.’ If an interest in empathy is what motivates The Casual Vacancy's author, an absence of that quality is what animates the plot. If you haven't read The Casual Vacancy (and it's possible you haven't, even if it is the second-fastest selling adult novel of all time), it's set in the fictional village of Pagford, and the story hinges on a council election, the outcome of which will decide whether a whether a council estate called the Fields remains part of the village or is cast off to a neighbouring town. From the middle class characters competing for political office, there's little compassion for those they're striving to represent. Those standing on a platform of casting

off the Fields think of the local addicts as grasping dependents, a problem to be sloughed off; those campaigning for it to remain part of Pagford make their case with statistics and cost-benefit analysis, but even they can barely summon any warmth for the residents. The two lives of Pagfords two estates are so removed from each other's view, they rarely imagine that they have any responsibility for one another. The sole person who offered a bond between the village's economic layers, socially mobile Barry Fairbrother, is dead within the novel's first three pages (it's his death that necessitates the election). That's telling, isn't it? Rowling writes a state-of-thenation novel, and she's offed the key representative of individual advancement and mutual compassion before she even gets going. Pagford is its own place, but it's a miniature of the UK too. As we live now, if you're born down, you stay down, and the well-off have grown increasingly efficient at hoarding what's theirs and gathering more wealth to wealth. The lives of rich and poor meet less and less often: councils are actively dispatching their poorer residents to distant outposts of poverty, and in lieu of immediate knowledge, cruelty and caricature flourish. The character of Krystal Weedon in The Casual Vacancy could have been a Vicky Pollard-style underclass nightmare: crude, promiscuous, violent, illiterate. Krystal is all of those things, but she's also loving, striving towards a kind of motherhood she's never been shown herself, and Rowling describes her with love. During the talk, Rowling was asked whether The Casual Vacancy was a satire. Her answer was an emphatic no: ‘It's not satire. I couldn't have written about, let's say, Krystal as satire.’ Later, Rowling said that Krystal was a character she "just wanted to hug". Writing about Krystal without empathy would have been empty unkindness. You can take issue with The Casual Vacancy's air of Victorianism on aesthetic grounds, but we live in increasingly Victorian times: Samuel Smiles' doctrine of self-help could be a ‘2ResPublica paper. The nineteenth-century realists answered inequality in their fiction, turning faceless masses into individual stories, making the connectedness of society an undeniable truth in the eyes of their readers. Rowling does the same thing now, because a centuryodd later we are sliding into the same old divisions and cruelties. (NEW STATESMAN)

Pipereality or pipedream? M.S.KARIM

Importing gas from Iran presents a good option but have we done our homework to successfully launch ourselves into it? Or are we setting ourselves up for another failure?

It’s finally done. After a lot of hullabaloo and fanfare in the national media over the last few months, the foundation stone for the historic Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline had been laid by the presidents of Islamic Republics of Pakistan and Iran. Having completed the construction of the line on its side of the border, an Iranian company has been tasked to construct the 750km long pipeline within Pakistan by December 2014. The Pakistani section would be linked to the 900km Iranian section of the pipeline for the gas to flow from Iran’s South Pars field into energy starved Pakistan. So, is this the panacea for the lingering energy crisis the country has been facing for last many years? Come January 2015, would we see a significant amount of gas added to our system for use as CNG, power conversion, household burner tips, etc. at affordable price? Pakistan has been working on a viable gas import option for over two decades. Qatar, Iran and lastly Turkmenistan all offered options to import gas via transnational pipelines. While it is true that each option presents a unique set of advantages and challenges, there is no question that a pipeline from Iran offered the most viable solution. Geographical proximity, terrain, distance, technical simplicity, no involvement of a transit country, etc. all point in favour of preferring the Iranian option over others. Any transnational pipeline is a function of many factors. Resource availability and demand, finance and technology, a viable market based commercial mechanism and much more. Interestingly politics play a more crucial role than all other factors combined. The development of Western Export Pipeline (WEP) from Azerbaijan to Turkey’s Black Sea port of Ceyhan in the late ‘90s for example was an enormous diplomatic exercise involving the US, UK, newly

independent former Soviet republics, Russia and Turkey. The physical construction of the line was much less of a worry for the stakeholders. In a volatile region like Central and South Asia adjoining the Middle East, there is no doubt that oil politics will always play a dominant role in deciding projects of this enormity. Ever since the overthrow of Shah in 1979, US relations with Iran can at best be termed as hostile. Similarly the historic rivalry between the oil rich Arab Middle East and Iran are unfriendly if not hostile. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is no secret we have merely been a client state with strong dependence on both Saudi Arabia and the US. Hence, US support for Pakistan in getting any meaningful assistance from any of the multilateral donors is critical. In addition the role of China and to some extent Russia should also be considered. Both countries had aspirations to participate in the project initially. So if the US and Middle East are not in favour of Pakistan going ahead with the Iranian gas import project; why is Pakistan still pressing ahead? Has there been a paradigm shift in our foreign policy that is driving this project further? Do we consider the sanctions threat by the US a mere rhetoric or are we consciously inviting the wrath of the world’s only super power? Let’s attempt to understand the reasons behind the current energy crisis in Pakistan. Is the crisis because of a lack of resources or lack of capacity? Maybe a bit of both. But primarily the present regime did not have the will, capability or vision to tackle this issue. It is largely a management problem essentially revolving around the huge balance of payment issue between the power sector companies. The strategy at best was to drip feed the sector by injecting just enough in order to keep things going; albeit at half the capacity. Sideshows such as rental power

projects were initiated with the primary motive of extorting kickbacks. A complimentary project to gas import via Iran is LNG import. It’s been many years and the government is still trying to initiate the project that hits snags at the time of contract award. Lack of transparency in contracts always creates a hurdle and the case ends up in court. There is nothing that the PPP led government has done in its tenure to present a sustainable, viable and effective programme leading to the gradual elimination of our energy crisis. Pakistan’s resolve to bank on the US for its economic and military needs has not dipped in the last few years. We all witnessed the politicians bending over backwards to facilitate a conditional US assistance through the Kerry Lugar bill. In the case of Saudi Arabia, we have seen a ‘period’ of coldness ever since the current government has taken over. While there has not been any significant aid coming from Saudi Arabia in the last few years including the fact that Pakistan’s request for ‘cheap’ oil has constantly been declined, the image of Saudi Arabia as a friend still generally prevails. President Zardari is riding through turbulent waters. Initiating the project at this juncture is likely to be trumpeted by PPP as a major election slogan in the coming polls. We have already seen a few PPP MPAs dancing outside the Punjab Assembly to celebrate the historic event. By going ahead with the project, he may be able to arm-twist the US into extending more aid to Pakistan. However, if his gamble is called off, the cost will be substantial for Pakistan; long after President Zardari and the PPP led coalition government is voted out. The KSE already saw a mini crash on Monday as fears of US sanctions loom. In case the PPP is able to form the government again, I am sure a list of excuses has already been prepared to annul the project. Have we not seen a number of U-turns in the last few years?

The bottom-line is that Pakistan’s energy situation requires a radical treatment, and charity should begin at home. The government should reform the power sector first through better and improved management. Importing gas from Iran presents a good option but have we done our homework to successfully launch ourselves into it? Or are we setting ourselves up for another failure? Some essential steps immediately come to mind that should’ve been addressed before taking a nosedive into the IranPakistan pipeline project. We should have created a professional vehicle to undertake the project. The Inter State Gas System (ISGS) lacks the professional management having prior experience of executing similar projects. Political risk management should have been addressed prior to initiating the project. I have not seen any useful diplomatic activity to achieve this. We should have engaged with the significant foreign countries asking for support. Those we tried engaging with, we failed to attract to the project. We should not have accepted loans from Iran to undertake Pakistan’s share of project construction and we should not have awarded the contract to the Iranian contractor without bidding. The money will be paid back by the public so the contract award must have come after a proper competitive process. We are also ignoring the fact that Iran does not have the financial capability to bankroll the project. Iran is cash starved and cannot fund this project. Finally, one must add that it isn’t fair for a coalition government to start the project in the last week of its term and ensure that the incoming government bears its brunt. THE WRITER IS AN EXPERIENCED OIL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL BASED IN


Journalistic Malpractice at Washington Post and New York Times DAVE LINDORFF Thanks to the courageous action of Private Bradley Manning, the young soldier who has been held for over two years by the US military on trumped-up charges including espionage and aiding the enemy, we now have solid evidence that the country’s two leading news organisations, the Washington Post and the New York Times, are not interested in serious reporting critical of the government. Manning, in admitting at his military court martial hearing recently that he was in fact the source of hundreds of thousands of damning and embarrassing documents and cables exposing the perfidy and even war crimes of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan which were turned over to Wikileaks, also stated that he had first attempted to provide those documents which included the secret video of an attack helicopter massacring civilians, including two Reuters journalists, and those who tried to rescue the victims - to the Post and the Times. Both supposed “news” organisations failed to pursue his offer, and did not run those stories of US criminality until the documents had been released by Wikileaks. The same two news organisations, not surprisingly, have largely ignored Bradley’s prolonged incarceration in a military brig incarceration that held him in solitary confinement, often naked, and which a UN

After failing to pursue Manning’s offer of documentation about US war crimes, and then after failing to adequately cover his horrific ongoing persecution by the Obama administration and the Pentagon, the Times and the Post should just hang it up and admit that they are not news organisations, but are just propaganda agencies human rights investigator called “torture” as well as his pretrial hearing and trial, once that process finally got underway. Even the New York Times’ own ombudsman felt compelled to criticise the paper for its shameless dereliction of journalistic duty in ignoring the persecution of a man whose work the paper sprayed all over its news pages, once his documentary evidence became available through Wikileaks, instead of directly from Manning himself. (And once it became clear that other publications, notably the British Guardian newspaper and the German magazine Der Spiegel, were going to publish his leaks.) Now as an investigative reporter myself, I know that you get a lot of cranks who call you up and say that they have information about some incredible scandal, and it is tempting in many cases to just go ‘uh-huh, uh-huh, I’ll look into it,’ and then toss the call-back number into the wastebasket. But that is not smart journalism. Most people who are whistleblowers have a hard time giving a nice organised synopsis of what they know, can have an inflated sense of the importance of what they want to tell you, and can even be deliberately exaggerating to get your attention. It’s important when you

get a call like that to take the time to ask questions, to check out the person’s credentials, and to follow up enough to establish whether there is truth to what is being said. If there is truth there, then it needs to be pursued. The Post is now claiming that Manning hung up when a reporter at that paper told him she would need to get approval from a "senior editor" to pursue the story. That is a complete load of crap. Reporters don't go to senior editors when they first have the inkling of a good story. They first investigate to see if there really is a story. A meeting with the source, to verify he is who he says he is, and a look at some of the documentary evidence, would have been in order before going to even an immediate supervising editor to ask for time to pursue the assignment. Saying you first have to get a "senior editor's" permission is a bull-shit brush-off and the Post knows it. Similarly, Bill Keller, now a columnist at the New York Times, on Monday ran an opinion piece "explaining" how Manning got blown off by the Times on his watch as executive editor. He claims Manning left a voice mail with the paper but never got a call back. Excuse me, but the folks who answer those

voice mails surely get advised that if someone offers a scoop they are to forward it to a responsible editor or reporter to evaluate. If they aren't doing that, they should just move to Bangalore and go into the call service center business over at the Times and stop pretending to be in the journalism business! Manning was not exaggerating about what he had, and when he said he had documents, video and other information that exposed war crimes by the US military in Iraq, that should have been more than enough to alert whomever he contacted at the Post and the Times to send someone to meet with him and confirm his identity and the veracity of his claim to have documentary evidence. Neither publication, according to Manning, did this basic due diligence. They just blew him off. Here was an enlisted man, with no axe to grind, coming to these publications at incredible personal risk, offering them evidence not of the personal corruption of an individual, but of the criminality of a war. That is a huge story of vast importance to the American people and to the people of the world, and the Times and the Post completely blew it off.

As my bureau chief Frank Crook at the New York office of the Sydney Morning Herald once told me back in 1984, when I informed him that I had learned, only months later, that my wife and I had attended a birthing class program before the birth of our daughter along with Mick Jagger’s then wife Jerry Hall and had failed to recognize who she was, ‘Ah mate, you ought to turn in your journalist’s license after a stunt like that!’ (Mick hadn’t gone to classes with Jerry, leaving that job to her sister instead, which was my excuse for not recognizing her. Mick I would have spotted.) While I don’t think my lack of awareness was grounds for quitting the journalism profession (I wouldn’t have violated her privacy and written a story about Jerry’s pregnancy anyhow!), I would have to say that after failing to pursue Manning’s offer of documentation about US war crimes, and then after failing to adequately cover his horrific ongoing persecution by the Obama administration and the Pentagon, the Times and the Post should just hang it up and admit that they are not news organisations, but are just propaganda agencies. (THISCAN ’ TBEHAPPENING.NET)


Troops, rebels open new battlefront near Damascus

DPRK warns South Korea of ‘stern punishment’ PYONGYANG: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday warned of "stern punishment" for what it called "antiDPRK hostile acts" from South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported. A spokesman from the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces listed a number of statements and actions from South Korea since March 6, saying that those "moves" could only be interpreted as "confrontation." South Korea began "Key Resolve" joint military exercises on Monday with the United States despite DPRK's warning of annulment of the armistice agreement that halted the Korean War (1950-53). The DPRK also threatened to launch a preemptive nuclear strike for self-defense if the United States "dared to ignite the fuse of a nuclear war." The spokesman named the U.S. and the South Korean military as its "major target of all-out action for defending the sovereignty and the first target of merciless strike." Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula since the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12 as countermeasures against U.S.-South Korean joint military drills. –AGENCIES

AMMAN: Heavy fighting erupted in an area between Damascus and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday, in what could be a new battlefront between Syrian troops and rebels, opposition sources said. Rebel fighters attacked an army barracks manned by elite Republican Guards and the Fourth Mechanised Division, headed by President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher, in Khan Sheih, 6 km (4 miles) from the outskirts of Damascus, civilian activists and an opposition military source said. Clashes intensified three days after Sunni Muslim rebels overran a

missile squadron in the area, killing 30 soldiers, mostly from Assad’s minority Alawite sect, the sources said. The region also hosts a Palestinian refugee camp. An opposition campaigner in the nearby town of Jedeidet said troops stationed in hills overlooking Khan Sheih were attacking the area with multiple rocket launchers to try to dislodge rebels surrounding the barracks. “I counted up to 20 explosions a minute on Khan Sheih,” the activist, who uses the pseudonym of Abdo, told Reuters by phone. A rebel commander in contact with the fighters said a force of some 1,000

insurgents had moved into Khan Sheih, which is 25 km from the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in 1967. He said rebels had also attacked Syrian army positions in the town of Qunaitra, near the ceasefire line with Israel, and further south near the Golan, but those troops were well dug in. “The aim is to cut supplies to Qunaitra,” he said, adding that the Khan Sheih operations were also intended to relieve pressure on the southwestern Damascus suburb of Daraya, where a rebel pocket has been under army siege for two months. –AGENCIES

EU official killed in Syria rocket attack BRUS SEL S: An official of the European Union (EU)'s delegation in Syria was killed Tuesday in a rocket attack on a Damascus suburb, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday. Policy officer Ahmad Shihadeh was killed during a rocket attack on the Damascus suburb of Deraya while providing humanitarian help, Ashton said in a statement. Ashton expressed her condolences to the family of the killed EU official. "I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to the colleagues of the Delegation. Ahmad died while providing humanitarian help to the community of Deraya," said Ashton in her statement, "Ahmad was known for his courage and selflessness." Shihadeh was a policy officer at the EU Delegation in Syria and was killed on Tuesday during a rocket attack on the Damascus suburb of Deraya, where he lived. –AGENCIES

Hindu temples, homes attacked across B’desh

S Korea to be defended against threats: Park SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun- hye said Wednesday she will resolutely defend country's security to deal with the DPRK's threat of military action ,according to the Yonhap news agency. "But if North Korea seeks changes, (South Korea) will make efforts to give support to the impoverished country," Park said in a speech during a lunch meeting with social elders. She said that the security situation in South Korea is very grave. –AGENCIES

PKK releases 8 kidnapped Turk officials in Iraq ANKARA: The outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) released eight kidnapped Turkish public officials in northern Iraq on Wednesday, Turkey's NTV news channel reported. The captives were handed over to a delegation including two pro- Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies and nongovernmental organization representatives at an undefined meeting point in northern Iraq, said the report. Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government officials accompanied the delegation. The kidnapped officials, including district governor candidate, police officers and soldiers, will meet with their families at Zaho region of northern Iraq and then enter Turkey through Habur border gate, according to report. The release came amidst ongoing peace talks between the government and the PKK as part of the government's latest effort to disarm the PKK through dialogue. At a recent meeting with Kurdish politicians from the BDP, jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan signaled that the PKK may release the kidnapped public officials. The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and most of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. –AGENCIES

COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan demonstrator holds a portrait of a missing relative during a protest outside the United Nations office in Colombo. –WIRE SERVICE

Palestinian conflict a hobby for US: NYT

Egypt’s govt challenges suspending elections

WASHINGTON: The United States is quite apathetic to President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Israel and is not hanging its hopes on any political breakthroughs. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote on Wednesday morning, "it is hard for me to recall a less-anticipated trip to Israel by an American president." He cynically added that "Obama could be the first sitting American president to visit Israel as a tourist." According to Friedman, the American pessimism regarding the chance to advance the political process stems from the fact that the obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinians have never been greater. "Israel has now implanted 300,000 settlers in the West Bank, and the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza have seriously eroded the appetite of the Israeli silent majority to withdraw from the West Bank, since one puny rocket alone from there could close Israel’s international airport in Lod," wrote Friedman. The columnist further explains that "Little is expected from this trip — not only because little is possible, but because, from a narrow US point of view, little is necessary. Quietly, with nobody announcing it, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has shifted from a necessity to a

C AI RO: Egyptian State Lawsuit Authority, representing the government, submitted Wednesday an appeal against the Administrative Court's decision to suspend parliamentary elections. The appeal was submitted against Administrative Court's ruling issued last week to suspend a decree by President Mohamed Morsi to hold the parliamentary polls on April 22 and refer 14 lawsuits against the constitutionality of elections law to the Supreme Constitutional Court. In a statement, the authority said that its decision to challenge the administrative court's ruling came after a deep studying for the verdict's different sides, arguing the ruling that prevents the president from practicing his political powers. –AGENCIES

hobby for American diplomats. "Like any hobby — building model airplanes or knitting sweaters — some days you work on it, some days you don’t. It depends on your mood, but it doesn’t usually matter when that sweater gets finished," said Friedman. On the reasons the US president has taken a stance of nonperformance the NYT columnist said "Obama worked on this hobby early in his first term. He got stuck as both parties rebuffed him, and, therefore, he adopted, quite rationally in my view, an attitude of benign neglect. It was barely noticed." Friedman claims that the change in the US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not new, but rather a byproduct of international, political processes occurring in recent decades. Amongst others, he mentions the fact that the US is becoming less and less dependent on Arab gas and since the end of the Cold War, the likelihood of a war between Israel and the Arab countries igniting a worldwide clash, has decreased. Friedman thinks that the real urgent conflicts in the Middle East, and thus those that worry the US most, are the ones between the Shiites and Sunnis in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen. –AGENCIES

DHAKA: Dozens of Hindu temples and hundreds of homes across Bangladesh have been attacked since an Islamist leader was sentenced to death for war crimes last month, a Hindu group claimed Wednesday. Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad, a group which looks after Hindu temples, said 47 temples and at least 700 Hindu houses had either been torched or vandalised since the verdict against Delwar Hossain Sayedee. Sayedee, vice-president of the country’s largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, was sentenced to hang on February 28 for crimes including rape and murder committed during the 1971 independence conflict. The sentencing of Sayedee and other Jamaat-e-Islami leaders has triggered the worst violence in impoverished Muslimmajority Bangladesh since independence, with 85 people so far killed in the unrest. Kazal Debnath, a vice-president of Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad, blamed the attacks on Hindu temples and homes on Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.

“It was the work of the Jamaat and Shibir, but we also accuse the government, the police and the local government representatives including (our) MPs for failing to protect the temples and our community,” he told AFP. He said the attackers were given free rein to “torch our temples, houses and properties”. Jamaat has denied any role in the attacks, blaming supporters of the ruling Awami League party for the violence. But Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told diplomats last week that Jamaat and Shibir attacked Hindu temples and houses in a “preplanned manner”. Hindus, who make up nearly 10 per cent of Bangladesh’s 153 millionstrong population, are traditionally seen as supporters of the Awami League, which brands itself as a secular party. Jamaat-e-Islami leaders have been on trial at the domestic International Crimes Tribunal, accused of committing crimes against humanity during the bloody war for independence. But the party says the process is an attempt by the ruling party to settle scores and not about delivering justice. –AGENCIES

Germany bans three Salafist groups as anti-democratic BERLIN: Germany banned three ultra-conservative Salafist Muslim groups on Wednesday, which the Interior Ministry said wanted to overturn democracy and install a system based on sharia, or Islamic law. The ban, which took effect in the western states of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia in the early morning, is the latest step taken by German authorities who have increased surveillance of Salafists who espouse a radical version of Islam. The ministry said it has banned the organisations “DawaFFM” and “Islamische Audios”, as well as “An-Nussrah”, which is part of the “Millatu Ibrahim” group that was outlawed in June. Some 20 people were searched and assets belonging to the organisations were seized, said the ministry. “Salafism, as represented in the associations that were banned today, is incompatible with our free democratic order. (The groups) aim to change our society in an aggressive, belligerent way so that democracy would be replaced by a Salafist system, and the rule of law replaced by Sharia law.” Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement. Germany is home to roughly 4,000 Salafists. –AGENCIES

Western media set up North Korea for war The Western propaganda press is now doing the same hatchet job on North Korea. The Western public is being played like fools to go along with the most depraved behaviour of military barbarism - a nuclear superpower itching to destroy an impoverished nation that threatens no-one


ESTERN so-called news media coverage of the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula is like watching a cross between a bad James Bond movie and a cheap horror flick about flesh-eating zombies. It would be funny if the danger of war was not so serious and imminent. The disturbing direction of the Western media coverage is to set up North Korea - a poor impoverished country - for an all-out military attack by the world’s nuclear superpower psychopath - the United States. Paradoxically, this danger is being incited by “news” corporations that pompously claim to be free-thinking bastions of independent journalism, when in reality they are nothing more than progenitors of the worst kind of pulp fiction. Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea who took over from his late father in 2011, is being cast as an insane villain whose Western media persona resembles that of a putative Doctor Evil. His projected character is fit for a role in an early 007 movie. Days ago, Kim was reported as threatening “preemptive nuclear war” against South Korea and its patron the United States. How evil!


Scarcely mentioned were the facts that Kim was forced into this position of making a staunch defense of his country, under immense pressure of relentless imperialist aggression. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been slapped with yet more US-led sanctions aimed at ostracizing the country from any international contact. It’s the equivalent of solitary confinement of a prisoner, subjected to sensory deprivation. But this is torture of an entire nation with no reprieve. Yes, North Korea conducted an underground nuclear weapons test in mid-February. This was after the US tightened the thumb-screws with yet more sanctions; and after years of Washington refusing to reciprocate with a negotiated settlement to end more than six decades of crippling trade embargoes in addition to the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation against North Korea following the 1950-53 war with its American-backed Southern neighbor. No other country has been threatened with nuclear Armageddon as often as North Korea - and always by the US - for more than 60 years. Western media have now highlighted the North Korean leader ordering his massed troops to prepare for “wiping out” a South Korean island by turning a craggy maritime outpost into “a sea of flames.” Do you see the innuendo here?

Wiping out an island? Well, Kim must be an insane megalomaniac, right? The island in question is the disputed territory of Baengnyeong, which is actually located off the North Korean mainland, but which the US forced into South Korea’s possession following the 1950-53 war. It has been used since, provocatively, as a staging post for American surveillance and forward planning for attack against North Korea. No doubt the island will be used this week during the US perennial war planning maneuvers that simulate the invasion of North Korea, but which Washington euphemistically calls “defensive measures.” Befitting the caricature of arch-villain, photographs and footage have abounded in Western media showing Kim Jong-un clad in black long overcoat and black gloves, peering through binoculars apparently towards South Korean and American forces across the Demilitarized Zone of the 38th parallel. Just in case the Western public fail to pick up on the demonic Dr Evil caricature, there is another subplot being instilled - the North Korean flesh-eating zombies. In recent weeks, there has been a rash of stories regurgitated by the same Western media of outbreaks of cannibalism among the allegedly starving people of North Korea. These stories of cannibalistic gore and nihilism have

not just been printed by the voyeuristic tabloid gutter press. They have also been published prominently by supposed quality outlets, such as Britain’sSunday Times and Independent, as well as one of America’s paper of record, The Washington Post. Significantly, these macabre stories began circulating in Western media outlets at the end of January - some two weeks before North Korea conducted its underground nuclear explosion. That suggests that the flesheating horror claims in North Korea are the work of a Western intel psychological campaign aimed at adding pejorative technicolor to the present crisis. It makes for difficult reading. Not because of the alleged gruesome details, but because these stories are so obviously concocted and regurgitated in reflex manner by supposed news organizations. The horror claims all come from one source: allegedly an undercover team of journalists from an outfit called the Asia Press, based in Japan, who were allegedly spirited secretly into North Korea and allegedly interviewed various anonymous farmers and Communist party officials. It’s so bad you could not make it up. Yet the Western media presses have gone into overdrive to pump out these unconfirmed and unverifiable accounts

of purported bloodcurdling cannibalism among the North Korean population. In one version published by Britain’s Daily Mail, the headline runs, “North Korean parents 'eating their own children' after being driven mad by hunger in famine-hit pariah state.” Daily Mail readers are told of how starving adults are kidnapping and murdering children. One man was allegedly executed by firing squad after his wife found out that he had killed their young daughter and son “while she was away on business;” when she returned to the starving family homestead her husband greeted her with the welcome news that “they had meat” to eat. In another ghoulish tale, printed as serious news, an elderly man is reported to have dug up the graves of his grandchildren and eaten their rotten flesh. The truly disturbing thing about these reports is that not only are they sordid sensationalism passed off as credible reports by supposedly serious news organizations, but worse is that this propaganda is apparently believed by droves of the Western public who read or watch such media. Check out some of the readers’ comments below the stories printed in the above mentioned media and you will find all sorts of denunciations of North Korea and its “sick people.” But it’s not the people of North Korea who are depraved: it’s the Western media and

their gullible subscribers who indulge in this odious character assassination of an entire nation. The Western media coverage of North Korea recalls stories of babies being ripped from hospital incubators by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, which was a crucial tipping point for Western public opinion to support the American-led war on Iraq in 1991. More than a decade later, the same Western media ran scare stories of weapons of mass destruction that paved the way of the American genocide in Iraq from 2003-2012. The same Western propaganda press repeats endless claims about “sinister Iranian nuclear ambitions” that serve to justify a criminal American-led trade embargo on Iran that may result in a US/Israeli military attack on the Islamic Republic. The same Western propaganda press is now doing the same hatchet job on North Korea. A nation of flesh-eating zombies led by an evil personality cult who wants to blow up islands? “Yeah, go on Chuck, nuke those mothers!” The Western public are being played like fools to go along with the most depraved behaviour of military barbarism - a nuclear superpower itching to destroy an impoverished nation that threatens no-one. Truly, Western imperialist reality is more perverse and sick than the Western fiction. (


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Federal cabinet announces Investment Policy 2013

Foreign direct investment target set at $5.5b per year SAHTAK BALOCH ISLAMABAD: The outgoing federal cabinet on Wednesday approved the Investment Policy 2013 under which an ambitious foreign direct investment target is set at $5.5 billion per year to be achieved gradually by adjusting priorities in the face of global economic recession. Despite increasing domestic problems due to long hours power outages coupled with continued pressure on country’s economy largely because of the war on terror and changing global scenario due to an economic slowdown, the PPP led federal cabinet government has approved ambitious foreign direct investment target set under new Investment Policy 2013. The outgoing cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the chair, approved the draft of the Investment

policy 2013, which was finalised by the Board of Investment. According to the draft, the new policy will be instrumental in increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) to $2 billion in 2013, then with a growth of 25% to $2.5 billion in 2014, $2.7 billion in 2015, $3.25 billion in 2016 and $4 billion in 2017. FDI will be taken to at least $5.5 billion per year. The policy further stated that assuming an average annual economic growth of 5%, the FDI would account for 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which is close to the current global average. Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act 2012, the center piece of Investment Policy 2013 will encourage industrial clusterization, and bring Pakistan on international economic radar offering liberal investment regime and adequate physical infrastructure. The investment and incentives will stand fully

protected to stay through this Law. The SEZs will reduce the cost of doing business, enhance productivity and will help in economic development and poverty reduction The Policy has been designed to provide a comprehensive framework for creating a conducive business environment for the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). For implementation of the policy, FDI Strategy for Pakistan, 2013-2017, outlining a detailed plan for structuring the platforms has been dovetailed with it. The policy seeks to remove obstacles and impediments in the way of foreign and domestic investments, putting Pakistan's investment environment in line with those of its international competitors. According to the policy, all sectors and activities are open for foreign investment unless specifically prohibited or restricted for reasons of national security and public safety. Specified restricted

industries include arms and ammunitions; high explosives; radioactive substances; securities, currency, and mint; and consumable alcohol. The policy draft stated that, there is no minimum requirement for the amount of foreign equity investment in any sector and there is no upper limit on the share of foreign equity allowed, except in specific sectors including airline, banking, agriculture and media. Foreign investors in any sector shall at any time repatriate profits, dividends, or any other funds in the currency of the country from which the investment was originated. As per clause 6 of the Foreign Private Investment (Promotion & Protection) Act 1976, and subject to procedural requirements set under the Foreign Exchange Manual 2002 of the State Bank of Pakistan. According to the policy, permission for opening of branches of foreign banks will

OGDCL Institute of Science & Technology inaugurated

Pak ‘fire and heat proof’ garments attract US market SIALKOT: The international standard high quality Pak “Fire and Heat Proof ” garments especially manufactured for car racers (Formula 1 Racers) and motorbike riders attracted 20 foreign markets including USA. CEO, BFW, Abdul Ghafoor Butt told APP here Wednesday that our all Pak made fire and heat proof garments hundred percent meet all international standards set by the “FIA and SFI”. He said that “we are successfully exporting car racer wear fire proof garments including fire proof suits, shoes, gloves and undergarments especially used by “Formula 1 Racers” to USA, Germany, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, UK, Japan, China, India etc”. –AGENCIES


Record earnings for textile in 1HFY13 KARACHI: Improved sector dynamics has kept the Textile sector in the limelight at local bourse. Higher regional demand culminating into rising exports and firm cotton prices stands out as the chief contributors to the multifold increase in the profitability of Pakistan’s largest industry. In FY13TD, listed textile sector has yielded 70% price return, outperforming the KSE 100 return of 30%. Our analysis reveals that sector’s profits (our sample includes 70 listed companies representing 97% of the market capitalization) have reached Rs13.2bn in 1HFY13 as compared to Rs1.1bn in 1HFY12, up 12 times. We continue to see the sector under favorable light with our conviction coming from consistent regional textile demand (especially yarn) and downward sticky cotton prices. Further support to profitability is also likely to come from Pak rupee depreciation, subdued finance cost and improved gas situation beyond winter. In Textile, we cover largest textile unit, NML, and maintain ‘Hold’ with the target price of Rs83 per share. The latest numbers reveal that textile exports have surged by 8% to US$7.5bn in 7MFY13. We attribute higher textile exports to China’s stockpiling move which had effectively increased their domestic cotton prices and is facilitating Pakistan’s exports to the country. –STAFF REPORT

Pakistan’s trade deficit declines to $13.18 billion KARACHI: Pakistan’s trade deficit fell by 10 per cent for the first eight months of the fiscal year 2012-3. Trade deficit fell for the first eight months of the fiscal year 2012/13 (July-February) to $13.18 billion, compared with a deficit of $14.66 billion for the same period last year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said. Exports rose to $15.884 billion in (July-February) from $15.128 billion and imports to $29.069 billion from $29.788 billion. On a monthly basis, the trade deficit fell to $1.548 billion in February from $1.740 billion the previous month. Exports totaled $1.835 billion in February and imports were $3.383 billion. –AGENCIES

CURRENCY US Dollar Euro British Pound UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Canadian Dollar

BUYING 99.30 127.76 146.94 26.85 26.35 346.47 95.45

SELLING 99.55 127.97 147.16 27.05 26.55 350.60 96.96

continue to be granted by the State Bank of Pakistan. Foreign investors shall be entitled to sell shares, transfer ownership, and deregister under Companies Ordinance 1984 and Banking Companies Ordinance 1962. The BOI will work with the SBP, SECP and Ministry of Finance to open up and promote foreign investment in the insurance, banking and financial sectors. Foreign investors shall have the right to exchange the local currency into any other freely convertible foreign currency, subject to Foreign Exchange Regulations of SBP. There shall be no restrictions on the use of foreign private loans within three major loan categories as defined in SBP Foreign Exchange Manual 2001 or the debt-to-equity ratios used to finance the foreign investment projects. The use of the funds if received from foreign loans shall be extended to any purpose, not limited to imported plant and machinery.

ISLAMABAD: Dr Asim Hussain, Awad Ahmed Algeez inaugurate OGDCL Institute of Science and Technology. —PR

NA body castigates govt for OGDCL, PSO nepotism ISLAMABAD: Taking serious notice of recruitment of “favourites” in OGDCL and PSO within last five months, NA legislative body has severely criticised the PPP government over not taking action on any of the committee’s recommendations during its entire tenure. Meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Resources was held under the chairmanship of Engineer Tariq Khattak. During the meeting, members of the NA body grilled the incumbent government over its poor performance. The members were so annoyed over no attention by the government over its recommendations by saying that since its inception to power the PPP government has

not taken action on any of the recommendation made so far by this legislative body. The committee also made appeal to the speaker of lower house (national assembly) to empower all the NA bodies. The committee was of the view that if the government is unable to act upon the recommendations of the committees then there is no use of spending money on the committees because it is the wastage of precious public money. Chairman committee Engineer Tariq Khattak said that the committee has recommended the removal of MD SNGPL, which is inefficient and unable. Berjees Tahir, a committee member from PNL-N,

came down hard over the performance of ruling coalition. He said the performance of government institutes were not so bad in 2008 which is being faced now in 2013. He deplored that in 2008 heads of the institutes picked up the telephones of legislators but after the completion of constitutional tenure any head even Managing Directors (MDs) do not bother to pick the legislators phone calls despite repeated attempts. “The PPP-led ruling coalition government has ruined all the institutes/departments, Berjees said, adding, that so far no action taken on any of the recommendation of this committee which is not a matter not to be proud. –SAHTAK BALOCH

Rising exports will support trade deficit in FY13 Analysis

KARACHI: In today's Value Seeker, we present an update on the recently released trade balance figures by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics for Feb-13. The update is accompanied by our expectations for the same going forward along with an analysis. PBS recently published figures for Balance of Trade (commodities) for Feb-13. According to the publication, the Balance of Trade deficit in Feb-13 declined by a handsome 11% MoM to a level of USD1,548mn. Such positivity can

be attributed to a 10% MoM step down in imports of Feb-13 to a level of USD3,383mn (down by USD380mn) whereas the dip in exports of 9.29% MoM (USD188mn lower) to USD1,835 made such positivity less pronounced. As compared to Feb-2012, Trade deficit showed a decline of 6.6% YoY in Feb-13, where imports fell by 2.3% YoY and exports lowered by 8.7% YoY. In 8MFY13, Balance of Trade (commodities) stands at a deficit of USD13,185mn, a level 10% YoY lower as compared to USD14,660mn in 8MFY12. Such an occurrence is the outcome of exports having

improved by 5% YoY to USD15,884mn whereas imports lowered by 2.4% YoY to USD29,069mn in 8MFY13. Going forward, in the remaining of FY13, we expect the monthly deficit balance of trade (commodities) to witness further turndown; however we foresee the latter to show a trade deficit of around USD15bn in FY13. The declining deficit is expected on account of better performance by exports as PKR depreciation against USD is anticipated to reach 9% YoY by year end thus making our local exports cheaper. –OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

ISL AM ABAD: Dr. Asim Hussain Advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum & Natural Resources and Mr. Awad Ahmed Algez Minister of Petroleum Government of Sudan inaugurated OGDCL Institute of Science & Technology (OIST). The ceremony was graced by H.E Alshafie Ahmed Ambassador of Sudan in Pakistan, Vice Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, and Mr. Masood Siddiqui MD/CEO OGDCL and Chief Executives of other E&P Companies were present on the occasion here today. The Institute is starting an MS Petroleum Engineering Programme and Geosciences soon. Oil & Gas Training Institute of OGDCL, is a premier institute of petroleum industry in the country which was established in 1979 with technical assistance from Canadian International Development Agency and has now been upgraded to higher education and training institute. This institute has been elevated to a degree awarding institute through affiliation with Quaid-iAzam University Islamabad and renamed as OGDCL Institute of Science & Technology (OIST). A high level Sudanese delegation visited OGDCL Head office on March 12, 2013. The Advisor for Petroleum and Natural Resources welcomed the delegation to Pakistan and highlighted that Sudan is one of the promising upcoming highly prospective country which has a lot of potential to monetize oil and gas resources. Further there exists a number of joint venture opportunities which can both be materialized by OGDCL and PPL jointly. Likewise, Sudan can also explore possibilities of farm-in in blocks owned and operated by OGDCL and PPL. Dr, Asim Hussain advised professionals from OGDCL and PPL to embark upon joint venture projects in Sudan on a fast track basis. He also apprised that Pakistan is looking forward to train professionals from Sudan at the Oil and Gas Training Institute (OGTI) in the fields of Petroleum Engineering and Exploration, as an MS degree program in Petroleum Engineering will shortly be started by the institute. Thereafter, he invited Sudan’s Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources to present the business development opportunities in the oil and gas sector of Sudan. Mr. Mahir Khalil, Manager (Exploration) gave a comprehensive presentation on the oil and gas sector in Sudan with specific reference to the available blocks for farm-in. He stressed that there is a lot of potential in Sudan and a number of international E&P companies are already working in Sudan. He further elaborated that the current oil production of Sudan stood at 145,000 BPD and has further growth potential. Masood Siddiqui MD OGDCL then gave a short and crisp presentation on overall OGDCL’s activities in Pakistan. He also showed OGDCL’s commitment in seeking international joint venture opportunities. It was decided that in the first phase, one Exploration Manager each from OGDCL and PPL will accompany the team to Sudan to examine joint venture opportunities presently available in Sudan. In the second phase, commercial and technical professionals will visit Sudan for further exploring possibilities of business development opportunities. In the end Advisor for Petroleum and Natural Resources thanked the Sudanese delegation for taking keen interest in Pakistan and assured him that Pakistan will do its utmost to help Sudan in the oil and gas sector. Dr. Asim Hussain presented shields and traditional Pakistan gifts to the members of visiting delegation.

PTA takes notice of illegal taxation of consumers 

Inland housing clearance tax courtesy 14 long distance operators fleecing telecom consumers


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken serious notice of illegal heavy fleecing of the consumers with additional Inland Housing Clearance (IHC) tax by 14 long distance international (LDI) operators over incoming international calls to Pakistan, sources told on Wednesday. Interestingly, the regulatory authority (PTA) has sprung into action after the publication of a news item regarding a scam involving the illegal imposition of 8.8 cents per minute on incoming international calls, in which Ministry of Informational Technology and Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA)

had seemingly established a ‘typical’ cartel under a special agreement dubbed International Clearing House (ICH) to benefit Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited. And, this has prompted the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to send notice to PTCL on March 4, 2012 telling it to respond in writing within 7 days of the date of the notice and place before the commission facts and material in support of its contention and to explain why a penalty should not be imposed for its violations. Besides this, the price for making calls to Pakistan has increased significantly, which has and would definitely decrease the volume of

international incoming calls per month if it continues playing with the innocent consumers. The sources disclosed that the PTA has initiated action against 14 LDI operators over illegal collection of 8.8cents per minute from the consumers on incoming international calls. The LDI operators despite the 3rd December 2011 notification of PTA continued fleecing the consumers and successfully collected Rs5billion. And, there is no any mechanism at hand to pay back the illegal collection to the consumers. “ Since there is no mechanism devised by the concerned authorities to pay back the illegal collection from the consumers under head

IHC of 8.8cents per minute on incoming international calls to Pakistan so a controversy has emerged about the real ownership of Rs5billion heavy amount collected by LDI operators after the notice of PTA, said a senior official, adding, “It will also be a difficult task to be faced by PTA and Information Technology Ministry to determine the real owner of the collected worthy amount.” It is also learnt that by the ICH agreement, there was no incentive for any LDI (long- distance international) operator to improve sales or enhance quality of service or for that matter to invest in improving its network. Under the ICH regime, PTCL has become the

sole LDI operator with the exclusive rights to terminate all incoming traffic to Pakistan while there are 14 companies licensed by PTA to operate as LDI telecommunication service operators. The ministry had mutually allocated quotas and rates for all LDI operators, they added. It is worth mentioning that the Supreme Court had earlier directed the commission (CCP) to treat writ petition no. 26636/2012, filed by the M/s Brain Telecommunication Limited with the Lahore High Court as under the Competition Act, 2010 and to decide the case within 15 days of the receipt of the order by issuing notice and after hearing all the undertakings concerned and attending to the issues raised in the representation.


Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam 2 in Auro 3D

Priyanka signs Hollywood animation film

MUMBAI: Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan says the sequel to 'Vishwaroopam' will come soon in 3D sound format, also known as Auro 3D. After the success of Vishwaroopam, which had utilised the Auro 3D sound technology, Kamal's Vishwaroopam 2 is in the making. The sequel is also likely to be released this year. "We are doing Vishwaroopam 2. We are working on it. We are quite charged up for it. This time the sequel will come in Auro 3D," Kamal Haasan told. Vishwaroopam was embroiled in a controversy after a section of people demanded a ban on the film's screening, claiming that it hurt the sentiments of a community. Following the protests, the movie was banned from screening across Tamil Nadu and in some other states but was released after few days. The espionage thriller was reportedly made on a budget of Rs 95 crore and has grossed over Rs 220 crore. -SHOWBIZ DESK

LONDON: Post making a name for herself in the Indian film industry, Priyanka Chopra is capturing the world of music with her latest album. Now we hear that the actressturned-singer has been roped in by Disney - UTV for their next Hollywood animation film Planes. The film named Planes, which is being directed by Klay Hall, the director of The Simpsons, will feature the actress lending her voice to a lovable aircraft called Ishani. Cast opposite Dane Cook who will be the voice behind Dusty Crophopper. Apparently, the makers of Planes were searching for an Indian voice to do justice to the Asian character of Ishani, when Klay's office got in touch with Siddharth Roy Kapoor, who in turn recommended Priyanka. While the film itself is slated for release later this year, Priyanka will be dubbing for the original English version of the film, while a decision on the Hindi version is yet to be taken. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Bradgelina to ink wedding vows on their bodies

Khar most glamorous woman politician in the world Famous for wearing attractive and fashionable outfits Pakistani lawmaker Kashmala Tariq is at number eight on the list

MELBOURNE: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have are set to ink their wedding vows on their bodies permanently, it has been revealed. The Hollywood couple got engaged last year and has kept fans guessing about the details of their big day. According to new reports, the 'Moneyball' star has picked up a marriage licence, which stipulated the pair must wed within 90 days. Late last year it was claimed the pair wanted to get matching tattoos to mark their union, but couldn't agree on the design. It's now been suggested the plan is going ahead, with the couple thrilled with the pattern they have come up with, the Herald Sun reported. "Brad and Angelina plan to have the tattoos done by a local French artist," an insider told the British edition of Grazia magazine. They've designed a special motif that includes some of their vows and their children's names entwined in leaves, which will be in their own handwriting, the source added. It's believed that the pair will marry in Los Angeles but will hold a blessing at their home in France, which they will view as their real wedding. -SHOWBIZ DESK


NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar topped the list of most gorgeous women politicians in the world, a survey conducted by India Today said. Khar, who was elected member of national assembly from the seat of Pakistan Peoples Party, is famous for wearing Foreign attractive and mininster’s fashionable outfits. Her handbags and and dresses handbags dresses are the remains the focus of the focus of the media during media foreign trips. during Another foreign trips Pakistani lawmaker Kashmala Tariq is at number eight on the list. Kashmala, who is also a lawyer and a member of Pakistan Muslim League-Like Minded, is famous for her dressings and outspoken statements. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is placed at number 9 on the list of most gorgeous women politicians. Other women politicians which make place in the top 10 gorgeous women politicians include, Sonia Gandhi, the head of India’s Congress Party, Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Sonia Gandhi, Ruby Dhalla, a Canadian politician and Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine. However, Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah was on eleventh rank and United States’ first lady, Michelle Obama was placed at 12th rank.

I hope to die on sets: Kareena

Says marriage not a crime for an actress SHOWBIZ DESK

MUMBAI: Bollywood actresses like Lara Dutta, Dia Mirza and Preity Zinta have tried their hand at film production, but Kareena Kapoor has no such plans. She says she is all for acting, and hopes she is on the set even when she takes her last breath. "I have never been interested in production, direction or writing. I have always been interested in acting since childhood, and I will continue doing it till I grow old. I will keep on visiting the sets and hope I will even die on the sets," Kareena said at the FICCI Frames 2013. Kareena comes from Bollywood's famous Kapoor family, which has produced legends like her great grandfather Prithviraj

Adam, Drew reunite for Rom-Com

Kapoor and grandfather Raj Kapoor. Her parents Randhir Kapoor and

Shilpa to help hapless kids SHOWBIZ DESK

NEW DELHI: Actor, entrepreneur and a philanthropist Shilpa Shetty, who has always been interested in founding an NGO for hapless children, is now determined to support them fully through her own organization “The Shilpa Shetty Foundation”. Initially, Shilpa only wanted to support little orphan girls but later she changed her decision because of her husband Raj Kundra, who convinced her to start an NGO to help needy boys too. Kundra felt that boys should also be given attention as they too are much more helpless and deprived of basic LONDON: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are teaming up for another comedy. The frequent co-stars, who've previously played romantic leads in 2004's "50 First Dates" and 1998's "The Wedding Singer," are signed on for an as-yet-untitled movie, reports Variety. The script, written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera, centers on a couple who go on a horrible blind date and then end up stuck together at a family resort with their children from prior marriages. Frank Coraci, who directed Sandler and Barrymore in "Wedding Singer" and went on to work with Sandler twice more, will helm the feature. Production on the project is expected to begin in May. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Babita made their mark as popular actors too, and her Kareena's elder sister Karisma was among the top actresses of 1990s. Her cousin Ranbir is touted as Bollywood's latest youth icon. Kareena, who wed Saif Ali Khan last year, says being married is not a crime for an actress. She believes personal and professional aspects of life must not be mixed. "If a girl loves someone or gets married, it doesn't mean that people will not love her or her character on-screen”. Said the 32 years old. Kareena herself is one of the top-rated talents of current times, and as of now, she is busy shooting for Prakash Jha's Satyagraha and Karan Johar's Gori Tere Pyaar Mein.

necessities. Shilpa’s foundation is aimed at taking care of children’s basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter as well as their health and education. Most recently, she hosted a celebrity studded event at her IOSIS Spa in Mumbai to benefit the children from CARF (Cancer Aid and Research Foundation). According to sources, Shilpa has also decided not to work with any other NGO or charitable trust in the future but for her own foundation only. In the past, she had been working with Parmeshwar Godrej’s Heroes Project in supporting many noble causes.

Rihanna cancels Balitmore concert LONDON: R&B star Rihanna is devastated after being forced to cancel another concert in Baltimore because of her poor health. The 'Stay' hitmaker, who kicked off her new diamonds world tour last week, came down with a severe combination of laryngitis and flu immediately after her debut show and pulled out of her performance in Baltimore on Tuesday night, reported Rolling Stone magazine. The singer is said to be extremely disappointed that she has only been able to perform one show to date. Doctors have suggested that she work less and take more rest. Both of her shows in Baltimore and Boston are being rescheduled. "Rihanna couldn't wait to get out on tour and took it easy in rehearsals so she could save her energy for her fans," a source said. -Showbiz Desk

Bieber’s relaxing trip to Amsterdam SHOWBIZ DESK AMSTERDAM: Even though Will Smith and family believe teen pop star Justin Bieber is just confused, is it entirely true that he can do no wrong? After his disastrous trip to the UK, he decided to un-wind by visiting a fast food restaurant with buddies in Amsterdam. It’s common knowledge that Amsterdam is famous for its burgers and “chips”. Chipsy King Marketing Manager Amir Beaucaire reported to E! News: “I got a call from my dad, his employee called him saying Justin Bieber was in our shop and had fries. He was with a couple of security guys. People love our fries, but Justin is definitely the most famous person we have ever had to come to our store.” It must definitely be the fries. Why else does anyone ever visit the city famous for its lenient drug laws, not to mention the red light district? Could it be everyone's favourite teen idol had a case of the munchies. Not that the singer has ever been accused of the same before, except of course those potsmoking allegations in January,

based on reports of him seen smoking with his friend the rapper Lil Twist, in the Newport Beach hotel room.

Crescent and Faraz Manan collaborate once again SHOWBIZ DESK eading textile house Crescent and acclaimed couturier Faraz Manan collaborate once again this year and launch their latest collection under the Crescent Lawn Faraz Manan 2013 brand. The Crescent Lawn Faraz Manan collection for 2013 is inspired from some of the greatest cities of the world. From the princely estates of Hyderabad to the majestic coliseums of ancient Rome, this collection trots around the globe, picking up the best across its travels. The colours of Florence blend in seamlessly with the reverence of the Subcontinent in some pieces, while the vibrancy of Lahore pays homage to the decadence and colour of the East. It is a reflection of the sub-continental woman who represents harmony between the eclecticism of the West and the culture of the East captured in their brand ambassador Karishma Kapoor. For Crescent Lawn collection 2013, Lawn, Pure Chiffon, Specialized Jacquard Weaves, Chicken Kari, Pure Satin, Customized Digital Prints and Embroidery have all been used to bring out over 15 aesthetically designed prints for the Crescent Faraz Manan woman. The three piece unstitched outfits are priced at PKR 5,000 to PKR 6,000. Photography has done by Dabboo Ratnani.



British boxer tracks down Twitter troll

sharapova and azarenka advance at Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS: Former champion Maria Sharapova raised her game when it mattered to storm into the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals with a 7-5 60 victory over Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino on Tuesday. Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka also cruised into the last eight, pounding Poland's Urszula Radwanska 6-3 6-1 in a match lasting just under 90 minutes despite being hampered by a sore ankle. Fifth seed Petra Kvitova advanced with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over fellow Czech Klara Zakopalova but third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was knocked out, losing 6-1 4-6 7-5 to 13th-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko. Russian world number three Sharapova won a tight opening set then swept through the second in only 22 minutes to reach the quarter-finals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for a third consecutive year. The second seed will next meet Italy's Sara Errani, a 6-3 6-2 winner against Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli earlier in the day, in a rematch of last year's French Open final clinched by the Russian. –AGENCIES

bethlehem to host first ever marathon in april JERUSALEM: The not-so-little town of Bethlehem is to host the West Bank's first-ever marathon next month in a race starting at the Nativity Church and taking in several refugee camps, organisers said Wednesday. The brainchild of two Danish women runners, the Palestine Marathon will take place on April 21 and offer runners the choice of three distances: a full marathon of 42.2 kilometres (26 miles), a 21.1 km (13 mile) half marathon or a 10 kilometre (six mile) race. But given the problems of finding an uninterrupted 42-kilometre stretch within Area A, the small portion of the Israeli-occupied West Bank which is under full Palestinian control, those running the full distance will have to do two loops of the town on a course which passes through Aida refugee camp. "We thought it would be good to have a positive activity to show a different side of life here," said Signe Fischer, who has been working for a Danish NGO in Jerusalem for several years. –AGENCIES

suspended Watson wants to play for australia again SYDNEY: Suspended Australia vicecaptain Shane Watson is determined to play for his country again and dismissed on Tuesday suggestions that he had a poor relationship with captain Michael Clarke. Watson was one of four Australia players suspended from the third test in India for a breach of discipline because they failed carry out a task set for them by coach Mickey Arthur which was to present three ideas on how the team could improve. Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja were also dropped for the same reason. Asked whether this would be the end of his test career, Watson, quoted by local media, replied: "I hope not." Watson, who returned to Australia earlier in the day to be with his heavily pregnant wife, accepted responsibility for his actions but questioned the severity of the punishment. "I accept that I did the wrong thing with what I did, but I will always find it very hard to accept being suspended from a test match for my country," he was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. –AGENCIES

WELLINTON: England's cricket team players pose for a team photograph before a training session at the Basin Reserve on Wdnesday. England will play New Zealand in the second Test starting on Thursday (today). –AGENCIES

Jarvis strikes give boost to Zimbabwe against West Indies BRIDGETOWN: Two wickets from Kyle Jarvis gave Zimbabwe a boost on a tough opening day in the first Test saw them all out for 211 before restricting the West Indies to 18 for two at stumps here at the Kensington Oval. Despite a battling top score of 50 from opening batsman Tino Mawoyo, none of the other Zimbabwe batsmen managed an innings of note to justify their captain Brendan Taylor's surprising decision to bat first on winning the toss. Taylor's call caught many unawares, especially in the context of a West Indies team playing three frontline fast bowlers and given that this was the tourists' first Test match for almost 14 months. Yet it was spin, or at least slow bowling that accounted for the bulk of the Zimbabwean wickets, Marlon Samuels claiming four for 13 – his best-ever Test innings figures – and Shane Shillingford marking his return to the Test side with three for 58. It was the first time in 60 years that spinners had taken as many as seven wickets in the first

innings of a Test at Kensington Oval, a venue celebrated as a haven for fast bowlers. Samuels, who had earlier taken a brilliant catch at gully that accounted for Hamilton Masakadza off Kemar Roach, bowled Craig Ervine for 29 with his very first delivery and then added Graeme Cremer, Jarvis and debutant Tendai Chatara, the Zimbabweans losing their last four wickets for just 15 runs. It was Shillingford who broke a promising third-wicket partnership between Mawoyo and Taylor immediately after lunch, a sharp catch at short-leg by Kieran Powell being the first of three that he would take in that position. Mawoyo, who brought up his second Test half-century off 90 deliveries in 129 minutes with seven boundaries, lost opening partner Vusi Sibanda, bowled by Roach before adding 42 runs with Masakadza. But Zimbabwe failed to build on a promising position of 91 for two at the lunch interval. Paceman

scoreboard ZIMBABWE FIRST INNINGS V Sibanda b Roach 12 T Mawoyo c Powell b Shillingford 50 H Masakadza c Samuels b Roach 17 B Taylor b Gabriel 26 C Ervine b Samuels 29 M Waller lbw Shillingford 9 R Chakabva c Powell b Shillingford 15 G Cremer c Bravo b Samuels 25 R Price not out 12 K Jarvis c Powell b Samuels 0 T Chatara c Roach b Samuels 2 14 EXTRAS: (B 4, LB 10) TOTAL: (76.4 overs, all out) 211 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17, 2-59, 3-100, 4-110, 5135, 6-158, 7-196, 8-196, 9-197, 10-211 BOWLING 13-3-31-2 Roach Best 12-3-33-0 Gabriel 14-5-45-1

Shannon Gabriel uprooted the offstump of Taylor for 26 after Shillingford had removed the obdurate Mawoyo, setbacks from which they were never really able to recover given the lack of depth in their batting. Faced with 11 overs to the close, West Indies were unsettled by the loss of two wickets in two balls, both lbw. Powell

Sammy 9-5-17-0 Shillingford 22-4-58-3 Samuels 6.4-1-13-4 WEST INDIES FIRST INNINGS C Gayle not out 11 K Powell lbw Jarvis 5 K Roach lbw Jarvis 0 D Bravo not out 0 To bat: M Samuels, S Chanderpaul, D Sammy, D Ramdin, S Shillingford, T Best, S Gabriel EXTRAS: (W 1, NB 1) 2 TOTAL: (11 overs, 2 wickets) 18 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-8, 2-8 BOWLING Jarvis 6-2-9-2 Chatara 4-3-8-0 Cremer 1-0-1-0 Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS), Ranmore Martinesz (SRI) Third Umpire: Tony Hill (NZL) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

referred the decision against him but it was upheld on the evidence of the television reply, while there was no doubt whatsoever as to the fate of nightwatchman Roach to the first delivery that he faced. It left Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo to survive the remaining minutes to stumps and continue the battle into the second day. –AGENCIES

L ON DON : British boxer Curtis Woodhouse tracked a Twitter abuser to his house and forced the troll into a humiliating apology, reports said Wednesday. Woodhouse, 32, a former footballer and one-time light welterweight champion of England, was bombarded by tweets mocking him about lost fights and even his father's death. Earlier this week he decided he had had enough and jumped in his car to track down his tormentor, who called himself "The Master", while giving his 26,000 followers a running commentary on the way. After finding the troll's address he arrived in the man's street in the northern industrial city of Sheffield on Monday and tweeted a picture of himself there to prove it. "Right Jimbob im here !!!!! someone tell me what number he lives at, or do I have to knock on every door #itsshowtime," he wrote. The unfortunate Twitter abuser, whose real name is James O'Brien, 24, sent a plaintive tweet throwing in the towel before the boxer could confront him in person. "I am sorry its getting a bit out of hand i am in the wrong i accept that," O'Brien wrote. The boxer said he had previously received abusive tweets including one mocking the death of his father from a stroke five years ago, but the last straw came when he was bombarded with more insults after he lost his English Boxing title to Shayne Singleton on Friday. "I just thought, 'I'm not taking this,'" Woodhouse was quoted as saying in The Times newspaper. He added that there was "no way I was going to do anything and I would not advocate violence as that would make me as bad as him". His abuser later said it was "just a bit of fun but it got really our of hand". "I was at work when Curtis came here so I wasn't home but my phone was ringing off the hook. It was crazy," O'Brien told the Daily Mirror. "I really regretted it. You see, all of my mates were egging me on to say things." Former British deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was among those who praised Woodhouse for standing up against a growing problem in Britain of abuse on social media. –AGENCIES

A cricket survey KAASHEF AHMAD My mornings usually constitute of reading the dailies while I sip my first cup of tea. During this ritual, my senses are constantly at war amongst themselves, where, while my sense of sight is appalled with what I read and see on the paper, my sense of taste is appeased by the heavenly drink – tea leaves steeped at just the right temperature, brown sugar and milk, all coming together in perfect harmony to give me that elevation I need first up. It was one such morning when I read a poll in one of the papers about who people believed would win the ongoing one-day series between Pakistan and South Africa. It is worth informing the readers here, that Pakistan had just lost the first one-day by a huge margin of a hundred and twenty five runs. I was stunned to see that an overwhelming majority (almost seventy percent) had indicated that they believed Pakistan would win the oneday series. This would mean winning three out of the four remaining matches. I was shocked. I read the wordings and the results again to see if I had made a mistake. Was it possible that I was living in some other dimension of a parallel universe with another set of realities? Had I missed an announcement about Misbahul Haq being sacked? Did we not just lose

a Test series three nil and taken a beating in the first one-day? Don’t we have miserable stats against the Proteas of having lost 40 of the 59 games played so far? Surely I must be missing something. I was mulling over the reasons, when I remembered a statistical concept from my student years, called the normal distribution, also referred to as the bell curve or a Gaussian distribution (after the fellow who introduced this concept in 1809, Carl Gauss). It stipulates that in any sample population, the bulk of the observations would lie in the middle and only a few observations would find themselves at the either extremes. So for example, in a test result, the majority of students would score around the average of the test score (these are the students scoring B’s and C’s) and only a few scoring in the higher percentiles (A’s) and an equally few scoring in the lower percentile (E’s and F’s). If the average score is on the higher side due to the test being easy, or the class being smart, the B’s and C’s would be attained at a higher percentage and requiring a higher passing score, as opposed to if the average score was low. By the same token, a population of a country would have a majority of average intelligence people and only a few that can be considered

intellectuals or highly intelligent. I have often thought about this phenomenon of normal distribution and how it relates to so many different aspects in our everyday lives. It means that if every vote has the same weight, then, any issue that is discussed would be laid to rest based on average intelligence. If you think about it, there is something inherently wrong with this – if average intelligence decides the fate of a whole population. This becomes even more threatening if the average intelligence of the population is lower compared to that of other populations. I wonder what the poll results would have been if it had been conducted in another country. I am sure a country more in touch with reality would have not ignored the factors that plight their home team. Wouldn’t a country with higher average intelligence be more suited to democracy then? One can argue that there could be different reasons for the way people vote and it may not always depend on their intelligence but the fact remains how the majority of people would vote based on other things rather than logic or information. It may so happen that contrary to all logic, some inspired performances, or fixing, or luck, does in fact results a series win for the Pakistan team and the seventy percent of the population is proved correct. We all hope so.

LONDON: Mari Vartmann (L) and Aaron Van Cleave of Germany perform in the pairs short programme at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships on Wednesday. –AGENCIES

Sandan Club win Khyber Cricket Tournament OUR STAFF REPORTER

K H Y BER AG EN C Y: Sandan Club Defeated Salman Eleven by six wickets to win the All Khyber Cricket Tournament at Tatara Ground, Landi Kotal here on Wednesday evening. Candidate for NA-45 Shahjee Gul Afridi was the chief on the occasion. Thousands of sports lovers witnessed the thrilling final. Wining the toss, Sandan

Club put Salman Club to bat, who scored 74 runs all out in 16 overs. Akash Afridi and Riaz Afridi got 4 and 2 wickets respectively. Sandan Club achieved the target for the loss of 4 wickets in 13 overs. The event was organized under the auspices of Tatara Sports Committee and 42 teams from all over the Agency and teams from Afghanistan participated in it.

India ready to check Australia’s ‘homework’ in third Test MOHALI: The Indian tour couldn't have shaped worse for Australia who are battling major issues on and off the field. As if massive defeats in the first two Tests weren't bad enough, the team management surprisingly axed four players – Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khwaja and Mitchell Johnson – on Monday for the third Test for not submitting an assignment allotted to them by Micky Arthur and hence breaking team protocol. Following the imbroglio, Watson pulled out of the tour and returned to Australia. That, coupled with Matthew Wade's injury, leaves the visitors with a very few options in picking the playing XI. It will be a daunting task to shake off all the extraneous factors and pitch in a

good performance. This Australian team never looked settled right from the beginning of the tour and the Indian spinners ruthlessly exposed their inadequacies against the turning ball. Michael Clarke fought a lone battle in both the outings and was the only batsman from the team who showed skills and nous to encounter spin. Ed Cowan got starts in all four innings but failed to kick on losing his wicket by playing reckless shots. David Warner was shaky against spin while Phil Hughes was disastrous. Hughes is yet to score a run against spinners in this series and has been dismissed in all innings by them. He would have been replaced by Khwaja. Clarke is likely to promote himself up the order to shore up the batting line-

up. Brad Haddin was called in as standby for Wade and Mohali will be a superb chance for him to try and cement his place in the Test team if he gets the chance. Mohali is the only surface in India, which assists seam bowling, and the expulsion of Pattinson is a huge blow for Australia, because he was easily their best bowler in the first two Tests and the only one who looked like taking wickets. His presence in the team would have given Australia their best chance to turn the tables against India. In his absence, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle will form the pace bowling attack and look to make the most of the helpful conditions. Moises Henriques will chip in with his medium-fast bowling. Glenn Maxwell didn't show much

promise on Test debut at Hyderabad but the lack of options might secure him a place in the playing XI. Nathan's Lyon's exclusion from the second Test was widely criticized, with Rahul Dravid going to the extent of calling it "tactical blunder". Lyon is likely to make a comeback and Xavier Doherty could be retained despite his lackluster showing in the last match. India are on a roll after winning two Tests in a row. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni form a formidable middle order while R Ashwin and R Jadeja have been devastating with the ball. Virender Sehwag was axed from the Indian squad after failing to score runs in Chennai and Hyderabad Tests and Shikhar Dhawan will make his Test


debut. The 27-year-old Delhi opener is coming off his strongest first-class season (833 runs at 55.53, with four hundreds and three fifties) and has a chance to impress at Test level. Murali Vijay struck a fine century in the last Test and will aim to continue his good form. India's only concern is the form of Harbhajan Singh. He was selected ahead of Pragyan Ojha, who was the highest wicket-taker for India in the Test series against India, in Chennai and Hyderabad and might retain his place Dhoni usually doesn't like to tinker with winning combinations. Ishant Sharma has picked up just 17 wickets in his last 13 Tests and his presence in the playing XI is baffling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was impressive

in his last outing and a conducive pitch at Mohali will help his cause further. Australia will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to prevent a dominant India from claiming another comprehensive victory and with it take back the BorderGavaskar Trophy. Probable XIs: India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Capt/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma Australia: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Michael Clarke (Capt), Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin/Matthew Wade (wk), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty. –AGENCIES



children ‘involved in bombings’ held QUETTA: Police claimed to have busted a terrorist gang comprising of children who were allegedly involved in a series of bomb explosions in Quetta on Wednesday. Capital City Police Officer Zubair Mehmood said all accused were children and their ages were between 11 to 18 years. “Police arrested 11 children after an encounter in suburbs of Quetta last night,” Mehmood told a hurriedly called press conference on Wednesday. He said all teenagers belong to extremely poor and down-trodden families. He added that eight militants belonging to a Baloch separatists group managed to escape during the operation. “Arrested teenagers have confessed to involvement in more than one dozen bomb explosions,” Mehmood said. He said the teenagers were paid between Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 rupees per blast. The CCPO stated that children were being used by terrorists to carry out terrorist incidents at crowded locations of Quetta city. He said the children had admitted to their involvement in Mezan Chowk blast, which left more than a dozen people including three frontier corps personnel dead. Mehmood said police seized anti personnel mines, explosives and other arms and ammunitions from their possession. –AGENCIES

MARCH 14, 2013

Farewell gift –Hefty gas tariff hike in the offing 

OGRA set to approve SNGPL & SSGCL summary


ISL AM ABAD: Massive hike in tariff of natural gas is likely to add to the woes and worries of already over-burdened consumers as state owned gas utilities - SNGPL & SSGCL - have sought up to Rs 47.73/mmbtu sky high increase in gas tariff for next financial year 2013-14. Background interviews and discussions with economic pundits reveal that it might contribute to increase the notoriety graph of PPP government, which is about to complete its constitutional tenure. Since the incumbent government has left no stone unturned in sweeping away what the masses are left with through price hike in essential commodities, increase in gas and power

tariff with each passing day so the masses in general would take the proposed massive raise in company’s gas tariff as a ‘farewell gift’ of outgoing ruling coalition if it gets the nod of regulator (OGRA). Sources aware of the matter said there would be a hearing on 3rd April in Lahore over the petition submitted by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) while in Karachi a hearing is scheduled on April 10, 2013 over the request of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL). In their respective petitions to the regulatory authority, SNGPL has sought a record high Rs47.73/mmbtu increase while SSGCL sought Rs 43/mmbtu for next fiscal year, sources added. “Since the beleaguered PPP government has

many times jacked up the POL product prices and power tariff during its tenure so proposed heavy surge in gas prices would further disturb the monthly budgets of consumers in particular while common public in general, said an official at finance ministry. Sources also said the SNGPL will sell the natural gas worth Rs 234 billion during next financial year 2013-14. Similarly, the company (SNGPL) has submitted its request to collect heavy Rs 12 billion from consumers under head 7 percent of stolen gas. The total earning of the gas company (SNGPL) will stand at Rs 256.77 billion while total expenditures including price of gas of the company will be Rs 269.8 billion. However, profit of the gas utility under the formula will be Rs 15.25 billion during

Joseph colony arson report rejected

Bergoglio is new PoPe

SC wants to know cause of incident

TTP militants torch 10 houses in Tirah PESHAWAR: Clashes between outlawed militant groups escalated late Tuesday as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants set ablaze houses of at least 10 civilians, accusing them of being supporters of the rival Ansarul Islam (AI) group. Locals and the eyewitnesses confirmed the burning of the houses in Khyber Agency’s restive Tirah Valley, while other reports say at least 20 militants from both sides have also died in fresh clashes. Meanwhile, sources say hundreds of tribal families have fled to Afghanistan owing to excessive artillery shelling by Pakistani security forces and aerial bombing in parts of the valley. –AGENCIES

ecP forms body on delimitation in karachi KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has constituted a committee charged with redrawing electoral constituencies in Karachi and Nosheroferoz town of Sindh. The ECP revealed it in its written reply submitted to the Sindh High Court on Wednesday. It stated that Justice (retd) Roshan Esani, a member of the ECP, is heading the committee, adding that the body will submit its report within seven days after which a notification of new electoral constituencies will be issued. The provincial election commission submitted its reply in response to a constitutional petition pertaining to delimitation of constituencies for provincial and National Assembly seats in Nosheroferoz. –AGENCIES

Qadri fears country’s breakup LAHORE: Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran International leader Dr Tahir-ulQadri is back in Pakistan after a short stay in Canada. Dr Qadri talking to press at the Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport said as long as the corrupt rulers were at the helms of the state the scourge of terrorism would continue to thrive in Pakistan. Qadri feared the elections, if held under the existing “rotten” system, would break Pakistan apart. “A major surgery is required to clear the resident malignance so that a change for the better may come about”, said he.He said he would announce his future line of action during a public rally at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi, on March 17. –AGENCIES

upcoming fiscal year. On the other hand, a state-owned gas utility – SSGCL will sell natural gas worth Rs 152 billion while it has sought Rs 10 billion collection from the consumers under the head 7 percent Unaccounted Fare for Gas (UfG). While the total earning of the company will be at Rs 181.20 billion and total expenses including price of gas will stood at Rs176.12 billion. And, SSGCL will earn a profit of Rs 12.66 billion during next fiscal year 2013-14. It merits mentioning here that this proposed surge if approved would not only directly affect the poor consumers but its application to all categories (CNG and fertiliser sectors included) means that the masses will have to pay more for many other commodities.

SSP says complainants, witnesses on the run  People provoked after Friday sermons OUR STAFF REPORTER

VATICAN CITY: Argentine’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, has been unveiled as the new pope. Archbishop of Buenos Aires will take the name Pope Francis. -WIRE SERVICE

US agencies paint pessimistic picture WASHINGTON: After 12 long years of war in Afghanistan the best US intelligence can say is that a resilient Taliban is “diminished in some areas,” spy agencies said Tuesday in a notably pessimistic report. The US military habitually issues positive assessments of its progress in pushing back the Taliban and building up Afghan forces, but an annual report to Congress from the intelligence community was downbeat. The agencies warned that the Afghan economy is headed for a downturn when Western aid declines after most Nato troops leave next year, while battlefield progress is tentative and fragile in areas due to be handed to Afghan forces. “We assess that the Taliban-led insurgency has diminished in some areas of Afghanistan but remains resilient and capable of challenging US and international goals,” according to the report. The assessment was presented by

National Intelligence Director James Clapper at a Senate hearing Tuesday. According to the document, the Taliban’s leadership continues to shelter in crossborder sanctuaries in Pakistan. The intelligence assessment contrasted with upbeat statements often put out by the Pentagon and its field commanders, which have touted major progress and painted the Taliban as severely damaged and divided. The report to Congress said Afghan security forces had proven capable of safeguarding major cities and key roads near “government-controlled areas.” But the Afghan air force, which is trying to build up a fleet of helicopters and small aircraft, has made little headway. The report played down Al Qaeda’s influence, saying the group had only limited reach and that it was mainly seeking propaganda victories rather than having a genuine impact on the battlefield. –AGENCIES

Parveen Rehman among 8 dead in Karachi OUR STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI: Director of Orangi Pilot Project Parveen Rehman and seven others were killed in different incidents of violence in Karachi on Wednesday. Rehman was targeted when she was travelling in her car near Orangi Town’s Peerabad neighbourhhod. Reports suggest that unidentified gunmen opened fire by intercepting her car near Banaras flyover. Her body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities. Meanwhile, a body in gunny bag was

recovered in Soldier Bazar and two people were shot dead in Lyari and Awami Colony. Two more dead bodies were recovered from Kharadar and Nazimabad localities while a tortured body of a 12-year boy was found behind the bushes in Hijrat Colony. A police constable Gulzar, who sustained injuries in a gun attack on Tuesday night, has succumbed to his wounds. Moreover, CID police claimed to have arrested three alleged militants of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) during a raid in Manghopir Colony. They said that suicide vests and a large quantity of explosives were also recovered from their possession.

Gilani gets 7 days to re-file review plea OUR STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday gave seven days time to former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to re-file his review petition against his conviction and disqualification by the apex court. A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry told Gilani that as per rules and procedures‚ his review petition will be heard by a seven-member larger bench which had convicted him. Appearing in person, Gilani told the court that he wanted that his disqualification be withdrawn. The chief justice told him that he was convicted by a seven-judge bench and he did not challenge his conviction. Gilani contended that the court had referred the matter of his disqualification to the National Assembly Speaker and the Speaker had ruled that his conviction did not warrant to his disqualification. He said the ruling of the Speaker was challenged and consequently he was disqualified. To a court query, he said he had filed the review plea against his disqualification. The CJ told him that the decision which convicted him still holds the field and on the basis of that decision he was disqualified. The court directed him to file his review plea against his conviction within 7 days.

ISLAMABAD: Rejecting a Punjab government’s report, being dissatisfactory on the Badami Bagh incident, the Supreme Court on Wednesday noted that the provincial government had failed to establish causes of the incident. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, sought reasons behind the incident and about the action taken against those held responsible for the attacks. Appearing on notice, SSP Investigation informed the court that the complainants and witnesses of the incident were missing. The court then regretted that how the culprits would be apprehended if such a situation was prevailing. The court also reviewed the Gojra incident report and inquired that why this report was not made public. The SSP stated that people were provoked after Juma sermons and attacked Joseph Colony. The court held that acting Punjab IGP and the Lahore CCPO were responsible for the Joseph Colony arson. It maintained that the suspension of the SHO and DPO was not enough and no further negligence will be tolerated in the case. The chief justice noted that

contradictions existed in the report submitted by the Punjab police. He said when government fails to protect people’s rights, the court has to interfere. Appearing on notice, Advocate General Punjab Ashtar Ausaf Ali submitted before the court reports on the Joseph Colony attack and Gojra riots. The initial report of the Joseph Colony incident stated that the compensation had been paid to the victims of the incident. The CJ noted that providing compensation was the government’s responsibility and asked why precautionary measures were not taken if there was information pertaining to the attack. Ausaf said the government accepted that it was its failure as it could not avert the mob attacks, however, it was taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future. Ausaf said the investigation of Gojra incident was conducted behind closed-doors, however, the report was displayed on the website. The chief justice remarked that although the proceedings of judicial commission were carried out in close-door meetings, but its recommendations were for the masses. He said a common man should know the reasons behind the incident. The acting Punjab IGP blamed the DIG operations for the incident. Later, the court adjourned further hearing until March 18.

Pakistan denies role, rejects indian charge

Armed ‘cricketers’ kill 5 indian troops in srinagar SRINAGAR: Militants disguised as cricketers killed five paramilitary police in an ambush here Wednesday, officials said, in the deadliest attack for nearly five years. Two gunmen were shot dead after the assault on a playing field in the Bemina district that is home to a police school and barracks. A senior police officer said the men pretended to be joining children for a game of cricket before taking out automatic weapons from a bag and throwing a grenade. Four civilians were also injured, said a police statement. Kashmir News Network reported receiving a call from a Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman who claimed the “guerilla attack”. Indian Home Secretary RK Singh alleged that up to four men might have been involved and the dead gunmen appeared “not local but from across the border, probably from Pakistan.” However, Pakistan strongly rejected the remarks. FO Spokesperson Muazzam Khan said: "We feel that such irresponsible statements and knee-jerk reactions by senior Indian functionaries have the potential of undermining the efforts made by both sides to normalize relation.” –AGENCIES

NA body holds govt responsible for energy crisis  

Flays recruitment of favourites, inefficiency of bureaucracy Recommends end to subsidy for those farmers who don’t pay tax


ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Special Standing Committee on Energy Crisis Wednesday held the incumbent government responsible for power crisis saying that despite spending billions of rupees, all departments of power sector remained a failure. It also criticized the inefficiency of bureaucracy and expressed concern over the recruitment of favourites in thousands in the power distributing companies (DISCOs) which had put extra burden on power sector while no meaningful investment was made in the sector.

Apparently perturbed over its failure to end electricity crisis and line losses of power sector, the committee said it would present its recommendations in the House. The committee which met with Engineer Usman Tarkai in the chair handed over fifteen recommendations to the government. PML-N member Shahid Khaqan Abbasi presented a report of subcommittee that was constituted under him. In its report sub-committee emphasized that an integrated energy plan for Pakistan needed to be urgently developed for optimum utilization of domestic and imported energy resources, to encourage investment in the

energy sector and to establish short, medium and long term goals for power generation in the country. It said that subsidies should be used to support development of hydro and alternative energy resources and steps should be taken for energy conservation. The committee also recommended the government to allow the DISCOs to directly sell the electricity to private powerhouses and provinces as well. It also recommended an end to subsidy for those agri consumers who do not pay tax. Abdul Qadir Khanzada said that use of alternate energy resources had not been seriously considered and “so far we have not

Power crisis was worse under previous govt: Mukhtar ISLAMABAD: The incumbent government at the end of its tenure will pass on a much better electricity situation to the next government than what it inherited from the previous government, Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said on Wednesday while chairing a meeting of the Board of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB). “During our five-year tenure, we made important decisions for new projects and made the procedures easy and investor friendly. Serious work has been started for generating power through bio gas and furthermore, power generation through wind and hydro resources has got a boost during our government,” the minister claimed. –ONLINE decided whether we will use coal reserves through underground gasification or will take it out and utilize it.” Ayatullah Durrani said that for their vested interests senior officers of the ministry created so many departments that resulted in unnecessary delays rather than

speeding up the work. He warned that if bold steps were not taken the current shortfall could take a critical shape in 2020. Officials from NEPRA said that government should decide to which sector subsidy should be given and which should be ignored.

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