IMRAN KHAN BESIEGED BY DISGRUNTLED PARTY WORKERS PG I 03 Jamadi-us-Saani 04, 1434
MONdAy April 15, 2013
WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY ART IN PAKISTAN?
WASTING 180 MILLION MINDS
– ABDULLAH QURESHI
– ATHAR MIAN
PG I 06
PG I 07
Vol, V, No. 361
TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 35 LOW: 17 clouds and sun
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
No vote-seeking on religion or sect basis
New code of conduct bars free transport, camps near poll stations 11 fake-degree holders denotified
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: ISLAMBAD: The act of seeking votes on the basis of religion or sect was termed an offence by the Election Commission of Pakistan on Sunday. Since the scrutiny process is nearing end, the ECP has announced new stringent rules to govern the upcoming polls. Trying to reduce the external influence on voters, the commission
announced that candidates, lawmakers and polling staff who criticise or elevate any political party in front of voters within the premises of polling station will be put behind bars. Provision of free transport for votecasting, leaving the polling station with the ballot paper and chasing voters away from polling stations was declared as a punishable offense according to the new guidelines. The ECP announced a jail term for those who disrupt the working of
polling staff, adding that voters are expected to maintain secrecy at all times both inside and outside the polling stations. Meanwhile, the ECP denotified 11 lawmakers on Sunday over the case of possession of fake degrees and ordered them to return back all perks and privileges received during their tenure as lawmakers. As per the ECP, the 11 lawmakers, whose degrees were declared fake by the HEC were disqualified and they
include eight former MPAs and three Senatrs. The disqualified lawmakers were ordered to reimburse all perks and privileges drawn for the period they occupied the public office. The disqualified lawmakers are Senatrs Rehana Yahya Baloch, Mir Israrullah Zehri, Mohabat Khan Marri and MPAs Samina khawar Hayat, Seemal Kamran, Shumaila Rana and Rana Ejaz Noon,Mir Nadir Magsi , Basheer Ahmad Khan and Nawabzada Tariq Magsi from Balochistan.
cEc’s laptop, documents stolen from EcP oﬃce KARACHI: Robbers broke into Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim’s office in Clifton area and took away his laptop along with other important documents. Sources said important data was stored on the CEC’s personal laptop. “Important documents were also stolen from the office during the break-in.” There were conflicting reports as to whether or not the laptop belonged to Fakhruddin G Ebrahim. SP Clifton Sarfraz Nawaz said the laptop had nothing to do with the election commission. However, the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib have taken notice of the robbery and demanded a report from the Sindh IG. –AGENCIES
Peace Committee members under fire in Swat
SNEAK PEEK Victims of stalled sectors likely to be accommodated
ANP loses another leader
The Capital Development Authority is mulling to accommodate some of the victims of the stalled sectors of Farash Town. The civic body has also planned to carry out development work and remove encroachments in the town on priority bases, a senior CDA official told The Spokesman.The authority has been confronting the challenge of accommodating the victims of several sectors of the town, including E-12, I-15, I-11, who are not willing to vacate their plots until the CDA provides them alternate land on build-up property basis. Page 2
threatens more attacks on secular parties TAHIR ALI
Sale of ailing cattle meat protested Sale of ailing meat is continuing unchecked in the area of Pir Wadhai. Most of the butchers are selling meat of ailing, weak and near to death animals in and around the areas of Pir Wadhai. The meat is infected as its color is black and stench continues to emit from it but it is sold to us by the butchers at costly rate. “Two days back, my son started vomiting soon after eating the baked meat. He was taken to a hospital due to his critical condition where he was diagnosed to have eaten toxic meat,” said Sabira Bibi, a housewife. Page 4
Tale of a state-run hospital without facilities Mujeeb-ur-Rahman’s father Afzal died last week after protracted illness in his village Darote, about 70 kilometres from Gilgit. He was suffering from respiratory disorder. As the condition of the patient deteriorated last month, Rahman admitted his father to the Gilgit’s Government City Hospital, the second largest government facility in the town, hoping to have a proper treatment to his ailing father Page 5
Sonam has no love life There is no time for love in actor Sonam Kapoor’s life, all thanks to her hectic professional life. “I have no social life. I have no love life. I only have a professional life. I am absolutely single because I don’t have time to date,” she tells us. How come a pretty woman like her is still single, we ask. The 27-year-old is quick to reason, “the pretty ones are always single (laughs).” Page 10
Alonso imperious in Shanghai Grand Prix victory Ferrari's Fernando Alonso emerged unscathed to take victory on Sunday in a dramapacked Chinese Grand Prix, with the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton holding on for second and third. A charging Sebastian Vettel came fourth, just 0.2 seconds behind Hamilton, after adopting a different tyre strategy from most of his rivals, while his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber failed to finish on a dreadful weekend for him. Jenson Button, of McLaren, was fifth, and Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa sixth. Page 11
Candidate in Charsadda also injured TTP
HASSAN ABDAL: Sikh pilgrims performing rituals during Besakhi festival celebrations at Gurdwara Panja Sahab, Hassan Abdal. — ONLINE
Drone strike kills five in N Waziristan
Senate takes on caretakers today
Interior minister likely to face wrath over statement
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of Parliament is expected to take on the caretaker government and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday (today) with regard to their partiality, controversial statement issued by interior minister and law and order situation in the country. Caretaker cabinet and the prime minister, by virtue of their portfolios are expected to attend the session to respond to the elders representing various political parties. Sources believe that religious parties are likely to raise objections over the fresh code of conduct issued by ECP whereby vote seeking in the name of religion and sectarianism has been prohibited. ANP has already filed two adjournment motions against federal interior minister for issuing a statement in favour of Nawaz Sharif and one against Petroleum minister for his alleged corruption. Acts of Returning Officers is likely to be raised by senators, informed sources from PPP, ANP and MQM. This will be the first opportunity for country’s main political parties taking part in the May 11 elections to make the caretaker prime minister, his cabinet and ECP accountable for their acts when they meet today.
Having no friends in the house, the caretaker ministers can face a difficult time in the Senate where there will be no concept of the treasury and opposition benches in the absence of an elected government. When contacted senators said technically there would be no leader of the house and no opposition leader in the Senate when it would meet. The leader of the house is normally appointed by the prime minister to represent him in the upper house of parliament. Present leader of the house Jahangir Badr could not defend the acts of the caretaker government since he was made a senator on the PPP ticket and his party is contesting May 11 elections. They, however, said the house could elect its leader of the house or the parliamentary leader to represent them and formally convey their sentiments to the caretaker government. They said that under the constitution, the caretaker government was fully answerable to the Senate like any elected government. Even caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso could attend the session and respond to the Senators’ queries. The parliamentary reporters and experts are keen to watch the reaction of the PMLN in the Senate when this issue would be raised by the two former ruling coalition partners.
M I RAM S H AH : A drone strike in Datakhel area of North Waziristan tribal region killed five persons on Sunday. Officials and local villagers said the suspected drone fired two missiles and struck a suspected militants’ hideout in the Datta Khel town of the North Waziristan tribal region after a double-cabin pickup truck entered the premises. “Five bodies were later recovered from debris of the house,” Hashim Khan, a local tribesman said. The last drone attack in the region took place on March 22. Meanwhile, a truck driver of NATO container was killed and another injured by unknown militants in firing on Sunday here in Jamrud. Two Nato supply containers bearing registration No. P-4495 and LS- 102 were en route to Karachi from Torkham when it was intercepted by armed motorbike riders, who opened indiscriminate firing on it. Zer Wali an Afghan national was killed on the spot while another received bullets wounds.
MINGORA: Awami National Party (ANP)’s prominent elder and member of local Aman Committee Mukarram Shah was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Manglawar area of Swat on Sunday. According to Swat District Police Officer Gul Afzal Afridi, “Mukarram Shah was traveling alone when his car struck an IED at Manglawar area of Swat, killing him on the spot”. Being an active member of Manglawar Aman Committee, Mukarram was going to attend party’s meeting at Mingora, the headquarters of Swat district. Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)’s spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan while claiming responsibility for the killing said, “He was a representative of ANP, our enemy, so he met his fate”. “Such attacks will continue against the secular parties”. The fresh attack will fuel concerns that violence will mar the national and regional elections on May 11, which will mark the first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has served a full term in office. The killing of Mukarram Khan is not only a serious blow to ANP but it is also an alarm for members of Swat Peace Committee who helped the security forces to root out the
militants from scenic Swat Valley. Maulana Fazlullah-led insurgents were ousted in Rah-e-Rast (straight path) military operation in 2009. Fazlullah reunited his men across the border in Kunar province of Afghanistan and has started attacking Pakistani security forces and anti-Taliban elders. On March 28, Taliban killed two members of Young Village Defence Committee at Matta tehsil of Swat. Zakirullah and Shaukat Ali were performing nighttime duty at their village when they came under attack. In December last year, the militants killed chief of anti-Taliban peace committee in Manglawar village in Swat. Some masked men attacked Sardar Alam, the chief of peace committee at Salande area of Manglawar. He expired before reaching hospital. In November 2012, the militants killed three different elders of peace committees in Malakand division. Charsadda Correspondent adds: A bomb exploded near a convoy of ANP in Shabqadar, injuring the party’s candidate from PK-21 Syed Masoom Shah among four people on Sunday. According to the police, the incident took place when the convoy was passing through a Katozai area of Shabqaddar. The explosive material planted in piles of garbage exploded, injuring four people including ANP leader. The injured people were shifted to the hospital.
SWAT: Security offi fficcials at the site of blast. — ONLINE
The Mush saga - this is no showdown in Little Tokyo SAEED MINHAS I SL AM A BAD : A politically sensitive judiciary is all set to take on former president Gen. (Retd) Pervez Musharraf on charges of high treason, thus setting the stage for a clash of titans in Pakistan’s agenda-setting domain. If the Pervez Musharraf ’s episode is a test case for the judiciary to prove its independence, so is it for the most dominating institution of the country; i.e the GHQ . The judiciary — which seems to have enjoyed getting some press — has created such a hype of its own role that everyone is eager to see how it moves from poking to real probing of the Army's role. With
cases like Asghar Khan, missing persons, Balochistan and even wiretapping of Supreme Court, higher judiciary has jabbed at various sensitive branches of Khakis, but putting someone who has been commander in chief on trial is considered an altogether different ball game. Observers are anxious to find out that how far the judiciary will go, knowing very well that Musharraf had once been cherished by the same benches for kicking out a political set up in 1997. How will the judiciary fare in this bout? And how much ground the GHQ will yield to the advancing ‘demands’ of the judicial commanders remains to be seen.
Pakistan has suffered ‘might is right’ since its inception. Ever since the first brief (24 hour) martial law in Lahore in 1954, the baton was taken from the politicians and remained very much the property of GHQ. They have had so far three long innings with Ayub Khan, Ziaul Haq and Musharraf. The judiciary, bureaucracy and even politically elected representatives have been beneficiaries of the agenda fed to them by the Khakis. The birth of various Muslim Leagues, miscarriages of political dispensations, jihad to anti-jihad and the doctrine of necessity all happened at the whim of the GHQ. Idol-worshipping remained
at the heart of this entire saga which resulted in weakening the other state institutions. From Khilafat (Islamic Caliphate governance) to enlightened moderation, from proxy wars to sectarianism, from mullahism to judicial subjugation, from buying out the media to silencing the discontent, all ensured throughout these years to keep a tight grip on the ‘agenda’. With fear mongering, both on internal and external fronts, as the prime goal of this agenda in Pakistan, GHQ sustained a complete hold on it. Troikas emerged occasionally just to give the whole façade a new look but the GHQ's hold stayed intact. But a dramatic turn in
Pakistan's political history came when an otherwise submissive judiciary found support from the masses in 2007. The same judges dying to seek a photo-op with the dictators were seen defying the very hands which have been sending them memos for approval. Restoration of the judiciary, new judicial policy and a politically sensitive bench emerged to grab agenda-setting by developing an alliance with certain media moguls. Now the last house to take over is finally summoned to stand in the dock. Talk of guarantors backing Musharraf is not new and that’s why the 'bout' has become all the more interesting for many insiders and outsiders alike.
CMYK MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Election camps set up on state land All political parties freely organising corner meetings in residential areas
CDA, ICT go into deep election slumber SALMAN ABBAS
ISLAMABAD: It seems that the Capital Development Authority and the Islamabad Capital Territory administration have given a free hand to all political parties for encroaching upon the state land by establishing their election camps in almost all busiest markets and sectors and also to organise corner meetings in residential areas, which may result in any
untoward situation. Party workers of major political parties, including the PML-N, PPP and the All Pakistan Muslim League, have established the election camps in different areas especially in Aabpara Market and in Sector G-6. The workers have installed camps on the road sides in several areas which has also been resulting in traffic jams and causing inconvenience to the commuters and visitors of the markets. The authority has not taken any
action against such encroachments as, apparently, most of the camps were of the influential personalities. In Aabpara Market, the APML workers have established a camp of their leader Dr Amajd right in the mid of the market where the traffic jam is a routine matter. â€œWe have asked the CDA to remove this camp from the market but the civic body has paid no heed towards our complaint,â€? said Mughees Anwar, a nearby shopkeeper.
Muhammad Aslam, a resident of G-6, told The Spokesman that two days ago the workers of the PML-N and the PPP organised separate public gatherings in their sector and blocked the main streets and road for the purpose. The situation created hardships for the residents and also left a big question mark on the role of the local administration, he said. â€œIs it fair to allow such public gatherings or corner meetings in
residential areas despite the fact that poor law and order situation has crippled the country,â€? he questioned. Other residents were of the view that firing incidents and musical shows are routine in such corner meetings but the local administration has miserably failed to restrain the political activists from organising such events in the residential areas. Despite repeated attempts, CDA director was not available for comments.
Appeal for help as Zafar Ali Khanâ€™s kin ďŹ ghts for life ISLAMABAD: Veteran leader of Pakistan Movement and Father of Journalism Maulana Zafar Ali Khanâ€™s great grand daughter is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment at Warren Bill Hospital, Central Dupae in Chicago. According to doctors, health of the great granddaughter of Maulana Zafar Ali Khan is deteriorating day by day due to cancer. Her name is Bushra Ayaz while her husband Ayaz ul Haq Khokhar has appealed to influential people from all walks of life to help her as she is dire need of funds for the treatment in the US. Bushra who hails from an underprivileged family, is suffering from cancer. The family is appealing for generosity and release of funds. People who want to donate funds must contact cell number of Ayaz Khokhar 0306-8883362 and in US 001-630-898-5301. Bushraâ€™s husband is in Pakistan where he is appealing to all to donate funds through bank (account number 01142521901 Standard Chartered), Bahria Town, Rawalpindi. ONLINE Residents of G-6 flats set up tent houses as authorites are not alloting them permanant goverment quarters. THE SPOKEMAN
AIOU examinations start today ISLAMABAD: Final exams of ATTC, PTC, CT and BEd programmes of the Allama Iqbal Open University for the Semester Autumn 2012 will start from April 15 (today) simultaneously across the country. This was announced by Exams Controller Dr Hamid Khan Niazi. The roll number slips have already been dispatched to all the eligible/enrolled students at their given addresses by postal mail service. Those students, who have not received their roll number slips so far, are advised to contact the nearest Regional Office for the issuance of the duplicate roll number slip. For duplicate roll number slip, students are required to bring two passport size photographs duly attested by the gazette officer. The roll number slips along with date sheet are also being placed on the AIOU website for the convenience of students. The controller said that final exams of MS/MPhil and PhD programmes for the Semester Autumn 2012 will start from April 25, 2013 while the exams of Matric, FA/FSc/Diploma in Education, BA/BS (CS)/BS (Micro-Biology and Chemistry) programmes will start from May 2, 2013 simultaneously across the country. The roll number slips for all these exams are being sent to all the enrolled students at their given address. All students are also advised in their own interest to read the instructions mentioned on the roll number slip carefully before entering into the Examination Centres. ONLINE
Victims of stalled sectors likely to be accommodated
I SL AM ABAD: The Capital Development Authority is mulling to accommodate some of the victims of the stalled sectors of Farash Town. The civic body has also planned to carry out development work and remove encroachments in the town on priority bases, a senior CDA official told The Spokesman. The authority has been confronting the challenge of accommodating the victims of several sectors of the town, including E-12, I15, I-11, who are not willing to vacate their plots until the CDA provides them alternate land on build-up property basis. The CDA official further said that the authority has also accommodate the victims of Sector I-11/1, which is currently under the illegal occupation of the Afghans. But for the same reason, it has to create some sub-sectors or to develop the areas such as Farash Town so that the victims could be accommodated.
He explained that whenever the CDA acquired land in any area of the federal capital, it needs to allot alternate plot on build up property basis to those whom land was acquired by the authority. However, there are lot of such cases in which the CDA had acquired land of poor villagers to develop new sectors but so far failed to allot them alternate plots on build up property basis and also to develop the new sectors which has been launched several decades ago. Now, the CDA is in search of such place in the federal capital where the victims of these sectors can be accommodated and later they can be allotted alternate plots after the development of the sectors. â€œSame reason has compelled the CDA chief and his board members to divert their attention towards the development of the neglected Farash Town, which has become the hub of encroachments due to the negligence of the CDA,â€? said the official.
ISLAMABAD: On Saturday, Muhammad Riaz, working as a guard in a local school, registered an FIR in the Margalla police station complaining that accused Shahbaz Masih attempted to rape his son, seven-year-old Mudassar. The accused was also arrested from the spot by some citizens and handed over to the police. When contacted, the investigating officer, Sub-Inspector Shafqat Mahmood, while providing the details, said, â€œMudassar Riaz, son of the applicant, was buying some goods at a shop near his home in Sector G-8/2, when the accused, Shahbaz Masih, allegedly lured him to a nearby jungle and tried to rape him.â€? He said two men named Parvez and Gulfaraz saw the accused taking the child into jungle and then approached there after feeling something fishy. â€œThe two men after reaching the jungle caught the accused red handed while trying to rape the childâ€?, Shafqat added. He said the police arrested the accused and presented him to the magistrate on Sunday who sent him to jail. It was the second incident of rape or attempt to rape during this week. On Monday, April 8, another child, Abbas Khan, aged 10, was raped by his neighbor Talha Noor, aged 23, in Alipur area. He was also caught by some citizens and handed over to police. While a minor, Imran Anwar, aged four years and a half, was first raped and then killed by his neighbor, Fazal Rehman, on March 26. The police on November 2 arrested the accused, Fazal Rehman, who during the interrogation confessed his crime.
CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz also visited the Farash Town along with the some board members because of the same fact, he said. The CDA chairman said that the engineering wing of the CDA would take up the construction of remaining roads and patch work of the damaged roads in the town. He said that the CDA would make all out efforts for the removal of the encroachments from the Farash Town to develop it into a potential town where the residents could enjoy basic civic amenities. Estate Member Shaista Sohail was of the view that the CDA could allot plots in different pockets of the Farash Town to the affected residents of those sectors, which are in the process of development. The area could be utilised on the basis of exceptional planning and infrastructure, she said. The CDA can also provide consultancy for designing and construction of the houses and other technical issues to develop the town on modern line.
I SLAMABAD: Special squads of the Islamabad police and inspectors of all zones have started special action against one-wheeler bikers. Action was taken under the supervision of Traffic SP Chaudhry Khalid Rashid against more than 246 bikes, while various police stations impounded 56 motorbikes. The action was initiated in order to discourage the youth from indulging in this lifeendangering sport. ONLINE
207 POs arrested ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have arrested at least 207 in its latest drive against proclaimed offenders. About 41 gamblers have also been arrested, while police also impounded betting money, and other accessories. The Islamabad police chief has issued strict instructions to all senior officials to speed up such campaigns against the criminals in order to provide relief and ensure safety of lives and assets. ONLINE
Cash-strapped ATMs irk people
Garbage heaps marring capitalâ€™s beauty ISLAMABAD: Scattered shopping bags, garbage and worst wall chalking, no one could believe that they are living in the federal capital. Islamabad is recognized as most beautiful city in the world but unfortunately, some indecent locals of the area are ruining the beauty of the city by spreading garbage. The residents throw wrappers and bags outside on roads from their vehicles, which is extremely vulgar deed. The scattered bags on roads are badly affecting the beauty of the city. The Capital Development Authority started the Anti-Litter Campaign few months before and imposed fine on several citizens but the practice has slowed down. The residents asked the government to carry on with the respective campaign in order to keep the city clean and aware people about importance of cleanliness. ONLINE
Action against one-wheelers
Victims not ready to vacate their plots until civic body provides them alternative land
Another man booked for attempt to rape child
ISLAMABAD: Cash strapped ATMs of the commercial banks in the business centres of the federal capital have added to the miseries of the citizens. This is another crisis shaping into a source of perpetual nuisance for the citizens followed by power and gas embarrassment. In all the crowded markets including Super, Jinnah Supper, Melody, Aabpara and other bustling business venues, the ATMs installed at all the branches have failed to cater to the needs of the citizens. They are always found out of cash and the cash crunch is deliberate as in certain localities the branches of these banks are responding positively in delivering cash to the cardholders. The long and interminable queues of the citizens are seen in disarray outside the ATM machines of the banks, which are providing cash with the dropping of the cards into them. How strange it is that we have to stand in lines in drawing our own hard earned money from the ATMs, said a group of citizens. The bank management has made the cash a commodity, as the clients have to wait for hours like the customers of CNG and petrol to get cash, they added. The citizens demanded of state bank to take stern action against the commercial banks, which are creating a cash crunch like situation for them by not dropping cash to the ATMs. ONLINE
Folk artists performing at the cultural festival at Lok Virsa. ONLINE
HEC pays special attention to higher education in Balochistan ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission has paid special attention towards increasing access to higher education in remote and far-flung areas especially Balochistan. Out of total 55, about 31 new university campuses have been established in rural areas within last few years. In Balochistan, 49 development projects amounting to more than Rs 10 billion have been approved so far. Over the HEC request, federal quota policy has been applied over indigenous and foreign scholarship programmes which would enable and encourage the youth from Balochistan province to avail scholarship
opportunities exclusively available for them. Under the faculty development programmes, 390 PhD scholarships have been allocated for the faculty members belonging to various higher education institutions of the province. This step would also enable them to equip themselves with latest knowledge and expertise at leading universities of academically advanced countries. In addition, HEC has already awarded 2,000 scholarships to students of Balochistan and FATA under the project â€œProvision of higher education opportunities for Balochistan & FATAâ€? during the last four years. Under second and new phase of the project, 1500 more scholarships
would be awarded to the students of Balochistan and FATA. Besides, 600 masters leading to PhD scholarships for the natives of Balochistan province have been announced under the â€œAghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Packageâ€? with a cost of Rs 3,138.692 million. Commenting on HEC initiatives for Balochistan province, HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid R Laghari said that all the federal units have effective representation in 17member HEC governing board and National Scholarship Management Committee, the main decision making body. For effective coordination with provincial governments, HEC has its regional centres at
all the provincial capitals, where a large number of HEC activities for the province takes place as well as brings HEC to the doorsteps in the provinces. Through the Steering Committee, which comprises of all provincial secretaries of education, HEC is closely working with the provincial governments to evolve joint strategy for the promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said that more than 10,000 need-based scholarships are being awarded to the talented but financially constrained students belonging to far-flung and remote areas of the country with special emphasis over Balochistan, interior
Sindh, South Punjab and FATA. These are some of the examples that how HEC is reaching out to the needs of the people of Sindh and trying to assist in this regard. As an outcome of decadelong useful initiatives, enrollment at the universities of Balochistan have increased from 4400 to 11300, number of universities has been increased from 2 to 7 including first women university of Balochistan and HEC launched special projects for the development of basic infrastructure at higher education institutions including labs, class rooms, seminars rooms, labs, transport facilities, digital libraries, video conferencing facility etc. ONLINE
POWER ALLEYS |
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law aˇ I solemnly declare that these a˘e absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’ˆ hesitate to share with us on our blog at www.thespokesman.pk
Babu Clique rules as Cabinet sleeps clique of babus rules the roost in the federal Capital as Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso takes a back seat. The Caretaker experiment for holding the elections suits the bureaucracy very well. The Ministers are new and are entirely focused on the security and fairness of the polls. As the Prime Minister happens to be a laidback oldie, the day-to-day running of the government has become the exclusive domain of a close clique of babus. While the provinces have seen a bureaucratic reshuffle, the Capital is yet to witness that. The babu clique, which jelled together during the PPP government, includes Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi, Establishment Secretary Taimoor Azmat, Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi and is headed by super bureaucrat Salman Farooqui. The old relic, Farooqui continues to maintain huge government machinery at the Presidency despite the change of government. The heavy presence of bureaucrats in the Presidency was kept because Asif Zardari was running the government through Farooqui and Nargis Sethi. The old system continues at the great expense of the exchequer. The clique has cleverly adjusted Finance Secretary Nisar Khoso, who may not have any expertise of the job. In the absence of the Finance Minister, the PM having neither time not expertise for finance, the Finance Ministry seems rudderless. This leaves lots of question for the budget-making spade work. Who is doing what and on whose behest, one may ask. Many other questions about the shenanigans of this clique are doing the rounds. Central Board of Revenue Chairman Arshad Hakeem’s removal may not have come as a surprise as he was appointed against the rules. Local grapevine has it that many babus feel relieved at his removal. Hakeem had initiated a forensic investigation into the infamous Missing Containers Case in which billions of rupees got exchanged from all the way up. Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi was removed as Member Customs because of the scam. Others also question about the role of babus in the recent scam of legalizing non-custom paid vehicles. NOCs for thousands of vehicles were issued while they were still in Japan. The FIA has already seized the record. Efforts are on to cover up the scam. The real estate tycoon continues to influence the administration. He made sure that the Establishment Secretary does not implement the transfer orders of his favourite IG police, Bani Amin. Whiel almost all IG police in the provinces have been changed, this is yet to happen in Islamabad. Malik Riaz is found equally influential in other spheres also. His daughter was found carrying one hundred thousand sterling pounds in cash at the airport the other day. But the government official who dared to stop her for what was smuggling may now lose his job--such being his hold in the caretaker set-up. While the Caretaker Cabinet is busy in the election process, the babus have a field day wiping off dirty foot prints from official files.
The tale of WAPDA Chairman’s loot and plunder ZEESHAN JAVAID
ISLAMABAD: The controversial and powerful
bureaucrat, former Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Shakeel Durrani, one of the opponents of Kala Bagh Dam (KBD), once again facilitated bureaucratic cartel as advisor for a sensitive mega hydropower project Diamer Basha Dam (DBD), despite his suspicious lobbying against the mega project. The former chairman WAPDA Durrani was appointed as advisor 4000MW DBD hydropower project just after the completion of his tenure by the former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who was already allegedly involved in Rs. 22 billion Rental Power scam. According to the notification issued by former federal minister for water and power Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar, dated September 27, 2012, after approval by PM secretariat during the former ruling party PPP, Durrani assumed charge as advisor on DBD project to again enjoy the hefty salary package with lavish perks and privileges equivalent to MP-1 salary structure.
It was also learnt that during his former chairmanship, Durrani, contrary to his terms of employment and rules, had been occupying two official residences, one at Lahore and one at Islamabad, for which an annex has been constructed at Rawal Rest house Islamabad at a cost of Rs. 5 million beside the utilities cost of about Rs. 70,000 per month.
Sources in Establishment division informed “The Spokesman” that chairman WAPDA is entitled to the salary package under head of MP-1 structure. However, Mr. Durrani, as advisor, is enjoying almost the same salary package and privileges of WAPDA chairmanship without any departmental justification. The minimum basic pay of Management Position-I (MP-I) has been increased to Rs 2,63,000 from existing Rs 1,95,000 and maximum basic pay for the same position has been revised to Rs 3,24,000 from existing Rs 2,40,000. While the minimum house rent for MP-I has been revised to Rs 1,01,000 from Rs 75,000 and maximum house rent has been enhanced to Rs 1,42,000 from existing Rs 1,05,000. Similarly, minimum utilities bill has been increased to Rs 13,100 from Rs 9,750 and maximum utilities bill has been revised to Rs 16,200 from Rs 12,000. A close associate of former chairman also informed that Mr. Durrani influenced ministry of water and power for appointment of his son Danial Durrani in the power sector as J2 Consultant Finance, against a hefty salary package of Rs. 166, 000 per month, despite the fact that his son was nothing more than a simple graduate holding a degree of Bachelor in Commerce (B.Com). It was also learnt that the former chairman’s son was previously offered by ministry of
water and power the post of assistant in Basic Paying Scale-11 (BPS) but he refuted and the ministry withdrew/substituted their offer with Consultant Finance. It was also learnt that during his former chairmanship, Durrani, contrary to his terms of employment and rules, had been occupying two official residences, one at Lahore and one at Islamabad, for which an annex has been constructed at Rawal Rest house Islamabad at a cost of Rs. 5 million beside the utilities cost of about Rs. 70,000 per month. The DBD is planned as a large reservoir, multi-purpose “mega-dam”, while Dasu hydro electric power (HEP) is merely a power
generation project whose first phase that will generate 1,000 MW is to be funded by the World Bank. A technical expert of WAPDA, on condition of anonymity, said that Dasu HEP has provision for future expansion to generate a total of 4,000 MW using additional tunnels. In fact, the absence of DBD reservoir upstream will be a constraint on achieving the desired energy output of Dasu HEP, as it needs the regulation capability of an upstream reservoir to attain its maximum design capacity. In early February 2013 Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Deputy Chairman of Pakistan’s Planning Commission, while chairing a meeting of major donors in Islamabad, has advised them not to dictate Pakistan. Durrani’s appointment as advisor is strange considering his checkered past with respect to mega dam projects. However, the former WAPDA Chairman, who also attended the February meeting as an Adviser to the Ministry of Water and Power, reportedly, had gone on record with his position that the World Bank under Indian influence did not want any “big project” in Pakistan. He accused it of “sabotaging and wrecking the DBD project.” Nevertheless, he has stated this a little late in the day. During his tenure (2007-2012), he was an open opponent of the Kalabagh Dam (KBD). This reservoir “mega-dam” project on the Indus main downstream of DBD, Dasu HEP and the existing Tarbela Dam was unanimously proposed by the world’s leading hydrologists and engineers over five decades ago and its design completed in the early 1980s. However, in April 2008, within some six months of Durrani’s chairmanship, the infamous declaration “of an official closure” of the KBD was made by the Minister of Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, during a press briefing at the WAPDA House, Lahore. Durrani’s lobbying for Diamir-Bhasha dam was always suspected. He is on record having blocked every megadam on the Indus main and he succeeded. It was unfortunate that his mission had been chalked out for him. Not once did the nation hear him rebut the Indian position that the northern areas of Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan or GB) are historically part of “Greater Kashmir” and hence, the World Bank and other multilaterals may not finance any project there.
IMF holds the key to decrease in loadshedding SAHTAK BALOCH
Ahead of fast approaching general elections, the power situation across the country may witness improvements if Pakistan succeeds to engage International Monetary Fund (IMF) in reducing its energy woes, which have ballooned out of control, sources in water & power ministry said on Sunday. The electricity shortfall on Sunday was recorded as 4,100mw due to reduced hydel and thermal power generation in the country. The country’s total power generation through different sources remained at 9400mw against the demand of 13,500mw where the share of IPPs (Independent Power Producers) was 5,400mw while hydel power production stood at 2,400mw. Therefore, in urban areas 10 to12 hours long load shedding while up to 18 to 20 hours of load shedding in rural areas has added miseries to the common man who is already bearing the heavy brunt of sky high tariffs and announced and unannounced hours long loadshedding for a long time. However, continuous power outages
coupled with increasing shortfall has created a disastrous situation in the country. The sources also said that power sector reforms would be on top of the agenda along with other agenda items in bilateral talks between Pakistan and IMF, which are scheduled to start from April 19 to 21 in Washington. Ahead of general elections, the power situation would be improved as the IMF, while raising its concerns over increasing subsidy being given to the sector, has also asked Pakistan to introduce power sector reforms phase wise, sources added. “If Pakistan successfully convinces the IMF then there would be improvement in power situation of the country. And, cut in spiraling up load shedding duration is only possible till the time payments to fuel supplier is improved and regularized as increasing circular debt of the power sector has also contributed to worsening the power situation of the country,” said a senior official of water and power ministry. The IMF wants that the power subsidies should be gradually phased out within four years and has also
The IMF wants that the power subsidies should be gradually phased out within four years and has also stressed on the use of gas for producing power. The Fund wants power plants to switch to gas, which will help reduce the burden on the national exchequer by cutting the subsidy out of the equation.
stressed on the use of gas for producing power. The Fund wants power plants to switch to gas, which will help reduce the burden on the national exchequer by cutting the subsidy out of the equation. The Washington-based fund had also expressed concern over rolling back reforms by placing the power sector under the jurisdiction of the Water and Power Development Authority. Under the proposed reforms for the power sector, Pakistan was to dissolve the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and give autonomy to DISCOs with independent boards of directors. But, the government created another parallel company – Genco Holding Company – to monitor the
sector. An official source at power ministry on Saturday was found confidant that power situation across the country would witness improvement in near future. He said that the electricity demand was 12900mw while power generation was 9400mw and ten to twelve hours of load shedding was being carried out in rural and urban areas. He also said since the caretaker government was keenly watching the power situation and had already given clear-cut strict instructions to control power outages by minimizing line losses and improving recovery of dues from defaulters as soon as possible, so it seems that the populace may witness a sigh of relief ahead of
general elections. At present the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was to pay Rs480 billion to fuel and power suppliers while Thermal power plants are operating at 40% to 50% capacity, which may further drop due to nonpayment of dues and six power plants including Orient, Halmore, Saif, Saphire, Uch and Hub Power Company’s (Hubco) Narowal were shut down due to the circular debt issue as PEPCO is to pay Rs300 billion to independent power plants (IPPs), which had grown from Rs200 billion. Sources in water and power ministry also said that since National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is also engaged to recover Rs102billion outstanding dues from mighty influential private defaulters, it is believed that payments to fuel suppliers would be improved in the near future. In this way thermal power generation would also be increased while hydel power generation in the near future would also witness improvements as water level would reach the required level for increased release of water from water reservoirs for agriculture purposes and for hydel power generation of the country.
Imran Khan besieged by disgruntled party workers AZEEM KHAN akistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan finds himself increasingly under siege by disgruntled party workers, at his home in Banigala. Every day hundreds of workers from places as far as Peshawar hound the politician’s home, demanding to get their voices heard and refusing to leave until their grievances are dealt with. Late Saturday night the demonstrators from Peshawar had blockaded the gate and were in an extremely raucous mood. Some would intermittently try to scale the gates, where they were dropped by the staff of the house. Tempers would flare and verbal scuffles ensued between the two parties. The protestors informed The Spokesman of their varied demands, although all were centered on a belief that the ticket allocation had been unjust with regards to them. One of the groups said that they believed the allotment of tickets for NA-2 Peshawar
was unjustly awarded to Engineer Hamid-ul-Haq on appeal despite the fact that Khalid Masood was selected at first and was more deserving of the party ticket. They presented a thick file containing the membership data of a large number of PTI members from Peshawar who had petitioned against the awarding of ticket to Engineer Hamid. They contended that Hamid-ul-Haq was not in a position to win the seat as he was not someone who shared in the joys and sorrows of the people of the constituency, being absent from occasions such as weddings and funerals. They also stated that he, his wife and son had lost every single Union Council and district level elections for the party. When asked whether the Engineer was a man of dubious character and whether he was tainted with allegations of corruption, the protestors replied in the negative. They reiterated their belief that he would be unable to win the elections and if Imran Khan
were not to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan, they would not be able to show their faces. Two groups of dissidents were raising their voices against the awarding of a ticket to Arif Yousuf for Pk-4. One was
led by a youth, Malik Wajidullah, the elected Senior Vice President of Peshawar, who was bypassed for the PK4 ticket. They had written a letter for the Chairman against the candidacy of Arif Yousuf, claiming that Wajidullah
was the most popular leader amongst people of the constituency. The other group had a similar claim. Some workers were also accusing the Khyber Pakhtunwa leadership of the party of selling tickets. They also claimed that he union councils were not consulted with regards to the decision making on the issue of tickets and the leadership merely put forward the names of the people close to them. The protestors were unanimous in their belief that Imran Khan was not at fault for these decisions since he did not know the intricacies of the local political dunamics. “We live in the area. We know who is a good man and who is not. The provincial leadership tells him lies about the situation,” said one elderly man who had travelled all the way from Charsadda. It seems unlikely that the protests will stop until the ticket allocations are set in stone. As April 17, the cutoff date for finalization of party tickets for the upcoming elections draws closer, tensions escalate for those party workers
who feel they were snubbed unjustly in the distribution of tickets. Thursday saw demonstrators from KP brandishing weapons and Imran Khan had to go to them in person to calm them down On Sunday the demonstrators from Lahore vented their anger on the party Chairman, something the previous protests had not witnessed. Amidst the parliamentary board meeting on tickets for Punjab,the party workers chanted slogans directly aimed at Imran Khan, calling him a liar and lota among other things. They also raised the slogan of ‘Imran Khan Murdabad’, making some of the party leaders present extremely incensed at the choice of words used by the demonstrators. Different party leaders were of the view that everyone feels they deserve tickets due to the high quality and quantity of aspirants for tickets but they part decides on merit. They also said that the claims of the protestors were reviewed and taken into account.
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Interior minister calls for close check on borders QUETTA: Interior Minister Malik Mohammad Habib Khan has called for keeping close eyes on the people transporting from the border areas in order to keep the law and order situation maintained in the country. Talking to FC Commandant Pasheen Scouts, Col Haider Ali in Chaman during his visit to Balochistan province on Sunday, he directed to stop every illegal and suspicious movement on the border areas and take stern action against them. The minister asked the FC chief to depute extra security on the border areas to monitor the illegal routes. On the occasion, the FC chief apprised the minister of the security situation on the border site of the province and said that the at least six to seven thousand people cross the border daily. Talking to newsmen, he said that the government would eliminate the security threats of the political leadership of Balochistan and would create a peaceful environment in the province. He assured that the interior ministry would extend its all-out support to provide satisfactory security to the Balochistan people. ONLINE
JI won’t quit polls, come what may
Munawwar says no seat adjustment with any party Says JI will contest elections individually
KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawwar Hassan has said that law and order situation in Karachi is being deteriorated under a conspiracy. Addressing a public gathering at Mazar-e-Quaid ‚ he said the people of Karachi have been divided on ethnic and religious basis. He said the 10-party alliance would prove a good omen to defeat the elements behind lawlessness in Karachi. He said that the chapter of seat adjustment with any party has been closed and the JI would contest elections individually. He said the seat adjustment chapter was closed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa by Jamait Ulema-eIslam-F and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,
while in Punjab by the Pakistan Muslim League-N. He said that the JI was the ray of hope for deprived people and on the day of elections – May 11- voters would definitely reject the slavery of the US. He said the JI will take part in the elections with a firm faith on Almighty Allah, and the will of the people. Munawwar asked youth to vote for 'Tarazu' to make the country prosperous and developed. He vowed that the JI leadership would eliminate corruption, extortion and terrorism. He demanded of the Election Commission to take notice of the paid advertisement of different political parties on various TV channels. ONLINE
JI pledges supremacy of constitution LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaqat Baloch on Sunday said the JI would take every possible step to ensure the supremacy of the constitution and the law and the independence of the judiciary in the country. Addressing corner meetings in the National Assembly constituency of 126in connection with the upcoming general election, he said that the JI had a team of honest and competent people who were capable of steering the country out of the present crisis. Baloch urged the JI workers, candidates and their supporters to step up their election campaign with full faith in Allah and tell the masses about the JI’s revolutionary manifesto. He further said that all the religious parties in the constituency were united that augured well. Referring to the Karachi situation, he said that the port city was getting free from MQM’s extortion and terrorism due to which the party was trying to flee from the elections and to deprive the people of Karachi of democracy and their right to vote. ONLINE
Candidates using state resources, says FAFEN
PTI to ﬁeld 1,087 candidates on all seats LAHORE: The parliamentary board of the PTI has finalized its list for candidates for the general election 2013. Party chairman Imran Khan would announce the names during a press conference today (Monday). In total there are 1,087 candidates to contest in the national and provincial constituencies, sources told Online. Imran Khan would also announce the future strategy and a roadmap for his party. Meanwhile he is known to have entrusted party president Javed Hashmi and vice chairman Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qurieshi with special nationwide electoral tasks. PTI Secretary General Pervez Khattak has been deputed for special electoral duties in the KP, while the Sindh chapters has been entrusted to Dr. Arif Alvi. ONLINE
Extortionists threaten singer Ali Haider’s family KARACHI: Extortionists called famous singer Ali Haider’s family and demanded Rs 1 million on Sunday. According to media reports, the family of the singer has also been threatened to be killed in a bomb attack in case of non-payment. The extortionists also threatened to kill him in bomb attack if his family fails to pay the money. Ali Haider is out of country for the shooting of his video. It is pertinent to mention here that after traders and businessmen now the singers are also receiving extortion phone calls. ONLINE
Residential areas businesses playing with people’s peace RAWALPINDI: It is a sorry state of affairs that scores of schools have been established in residential buildings while the department concerned is acting like a silent spectator. With the connivance of RDA officials at least 45 Schools located in Rawalpindi have shifted to Asghar Mall Scheme to escape payment of commercial fees. Besides schools, beauty salons, clinics and other business activities are also being run in residential areas with no check and balance. The Rawalpindi Development Authority has issued notices against these business activities but several months have been passed but no action has yet been taken against them. ONLINE
Street crimes in RA Bazaar RAWALPIN DI: Street crimes have escalated in the area of RA Bazaar, causing many concerns amongst the residents while the police are acting like a silent spectator. The inhabitants complained that muggers were roaming freely in the area and snatching valuables from the residents especially in Tanch Bhatta, People’s Colony and Chungi No. 22. The residents have demanded of CPO and other concerning authorities to take strict action against the rising incidents of street crimes. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Players displaying their skills after a polo match at Race Course Ground. ONLINE
MQM, PML-Q to support each other on national issues
Farooq Sattar says manifestos of MQM and PML-Q are similar
KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and Muttahida Qaumi Movement have reiterated to support each other on national issues. This was announced at a joint press conference after the meeting of a PML-Q delegation with MQM Deputy Convener Dr. Farooq Sattar in Karachi on Sunday. He said both the parties will keep in contact with each other on national issues to steer the country out of ongoing crises. He said the MQM has informed PML-Q delegation about the threats received by it from terrorists. Farooq Sattar said manifestos of MQM and PML-Q are similar. He quoted Altaf Hussain as saying that an across-the-board operation against the terrorist elements should be launched in Karachi. He urged the voters to come out of their homes on the polling day and cast their votes without any fear. He said MQM will follow the code of
Dog bite incidents on the rise RAWALPINDI: Dog bite incidents are on rise on KRL road Khanna Dak due to slackness of municipal administration. This road which stems from Express way is the most crowded road in the area of Khanna Dak as it remains hub of vehicular traffic day in and day out being surrounded by larger vicinities of alNoor Colony and Shakrial, but it is no more safe for the residents as the droves of stray dogs have made it a sign of terror for the citizens. “We cannot send our children to school a street away. We have to escort them to protect them against attacks by the stray dogs. If any child dares to move to school alone, he does not reach school as his cries loud arise in the street being beleaguered by howling dogs and we have to rush to his aid, said inmates of Street No 2 of al-Noor Colony. Dog bite threat deepens in night hours. Our guests and relatives coming from other cities during night don’t bother to hire a taxi or rickshaw as our colony is located very close to Expressway, but they have to pay a heavy price for this act. ONLINE
conduct laid down by the Election Commission of Pakistan and hoped that all other political parties will follow suit. Mushahid Hussain Syed‚ on his part‚ said PMLQ and MQM have long-standing relations and they have a better coordination on the national issues. He said both the parties have seen ups and downs and he expressed solidarity with the party over assassination of its workers and leaders. Mushahid said all the political parties should unite on national issues as no single political party or person can resolve these issues. Earlier, the PML-Q delegation headed by Mushahid Hussain Syed visited Muttahida Qaumi Movement headquarters in Karachi, Nine Zero. The PML-Q delegation had brought a message from their party president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for MQM chief Altaf Hussain. Both parties exchanged their manifestos during
the meeting and discussed several national issues facing Pakistan. “The approaches [of both the parties] regarding national issues are the same in our manifestoes,” said MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar while speaking to the media after the meeting. He said that the parties will continue to remain in contact with each other in the future to solve all issues of the country. “We believe that the political brotherhood of the country should come together to take Pakistan out of the crisis,” Sattar said. Sattar added that his party has also informed the PML-Q delegation of a conspiracy against MQM and the threats being received by banned extremist organisations. Mushahid Hussain said that the PML-Q has had a strong relationship with the MQM before the elections, and will maintain it during and after the elections as well. ONLINE
I SLAM ABAD: Candidates of several political parties have been reported to be using state resources for their election campaigns in various constituencies of the National Assembly, according to a latest FAFEN report. Inappropriate use of the state resources in nine districts (12 NA constituencies) of Punjab, five districts (six constituencies) in Sindh, three in Pakthunkhwa and one each in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas has been observed. Observers witnessed six government officials seeking votes for candidates in five constituencies, including two in Sindh, two in Punjab, and one in Balochistan; out of which two instances involved campaigning for PPP candidates, two for independents, and one each for candidates of MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami. In 15 NA constituencies, the FAFEN observers noted 16 instances of campaign materials on the front walls of the government buildings and 10 instances of campaign materials inside various government properties: usually by PPP which had campaign material inside the government buildings most frequently. The observers witnessed six officials seeking votes for the candidates in five constituencies, including two in Sindh, two in Punjab, and one in Balochistan. Two instances involved campaigning for the PPP candidates, two for independents and one each for the MQM and JI candidates. In Kamber Shahdadkot (NA-206), an official of the Polytechnic College was observed seeking vote for an independent candidate, while a Health Department official was seeking votes for an MQM candidate in the same area. The observer in Benazirabad (NA214) saw a district coordination officer having a private meeting with a PPP candidate, and the observer in Faisalabad (NA-78) reported that the patrolling police personnel were seeking votes for an independent candidate. In Mianwali (NA-71), the principal of the Government Boys High School was observed seeking votes for a candidate of JI, while another Education Department official was seen seeking votes for a PPP candidate in Mastung. ONLINE
Sale of ailing cattle meat protested RAWALPINDI : Sale of ailing meat is continuing unchecked in the area of Pir Wadhai. Most of the butchers are selling meat of ailing, weak and near to death animals in and around the areas of Pir Wadhai. The meat is infected as its color is black and stench continues to emit from it but it is sold to us by the butchers at costly rate. “Two days back, my son started vomiting soon after eating the baked meat. He was taken to a hospital due to his critical condition where he was diagnosed to have eaten toxic meat,” said Sabira Bibi, a housewife. This unhygienic meat is sold to the vendors of hand driven carts at cheap rate who sell it in the form of tikka and kabab to the commuters coming from and going to other cities at bus terminal. They are in hurry and they cannot check the quality of the meat, therefore, they are forced to purchase these takatak fleshy foods as they cannot afford the high priced food in the hotels. If the unscrupulous butchers are not brought under check by the district administration a fatal epidemic may engulf the area of Pir Wadhai and its vicinities, said a group of residents while recording their protest. ONLINE
KARACHI: Children enjoying ride on a mini merry-go-round in Azam Basti near an open sewage line and burning garbage in Azam Basti. ONLINE
DCO suspends market officials
KARACHI: Sikh pilgrims offering Dua on the last day of the Besakhi festival in Karachi. ONLINE
L AHORE: District Coordination Officer Rizwan Mehboob has suspended Shadman Market Committee Sub Inspector Ijaz Bhatti and Gulberg Town officials Shahzad and Waheed Gulzar on their absent from the Model Town Sunday Bazaar. The DCO accompanied by District Officer (Monitoring and Enquiry) Amin Akbar Chopra paid a visit to different Sunday Bazaars including Shadman, Johar Town, Wahdat Colony and Model Town. The DCO issued showcause notice to Livestock District Officer Dr Tajummal on the charges of sale of meat in violation of hygiene principles in Shadman and Wahdat Road bazaars. Prices of vegetables and fruits were reviewed on weekly basis which showed that out of 34 vegetables, the rate of 17 vegetables was reduced;
price of eight vegetables was increased while there was no change in the rates of eight vegetables. Out of a total 25 kind of fruits, the rate of eight fruits was decreased, of five fruits increased while there was no change in the prices of 12 fruits. On the orders of DCO an inspection team under the supervision of District Officer (Monitoring and Enquiry), Amin Akbar Chopra, checked other Sunday Bazaars and imposed a fine of Rs. 6000 to eight shopkeepers involved in price-hike, keeping substandard fruits and vegetables and selling fruits at higher rates. An FIR was registered against Sher Ali s/o Akbar Ali in Police Station Shadman while stall of Mukhtar Ahmed s/o of Rehmat in Shadman Sunday Bazaar was cancelled. ONLINE
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Tale of a state-run hospital without facilities Govt City Hospital - the second largest health facility in Gilgit town - unable to provide service to citizens SABIR AHMAD
GI L GI T : Mujeeb-ur-Rahman’s father Afzal died last week after protracted illness in his village Darote, about 70 kilometres from Gilgit. He was suffering from respiratory disorder. As the condition of the patient deteriorated last month, Rahman admitted his father to the Gilgit’s Government City Hospital, the second largest government facility in the town, hoping to have a proper treatment to his ailing father. But his hopes were shattered by the indifferent attitude of doctors and nursing staff. “Though my father was admitted, he wasn’t taken proper care of by the hospital management,” complains Rahman, who is a low grade employee in a government department at Gilgit. “Usually, the specialist doctors didn’t visit to the patients’ ward but even if they did, they just see the patients cursorily and return without
much advice,” he said, adding that the condition of cleanliness wasn’t satisfactory either. The City Hospital was constructed during the recent years as the district headquarters hospital failed to cater to requirements of the increasing population. However, the new hospital couldn’t be fully equipped due to lack of funds. There are specialized doctors but not as much as needed to meet the growing requirements of the patients. Similarly the hospital is also devoid of modern equipment such as ultrasound, X-Ray and CT scan. In addition to the equipment, the hospital is also short on medicine as patients and their attendants are asked to buy the medicine at their own. “With our father, we stayed in the hospital for over a week and noticed that the hospital didn’t have anything to offer to the poor patients,” Rahman said, adding after realizing that we were just wasting our time in the city hospital, they
took their father to a private clinic and had him treated there. While the affairs of the hospital continued to deteriorate, government authorities said they were trying to improve the condition within the available resources. “We are trying to improve the conditions of hospital with whatever we have, but we are short of funds,” said Gulbar Khan, the regional health minister told The Spokesman. Similarly, Chief Secretary Gilgit– Baltistan Sajjad Saleem Hottiana recently made a surprise visit to the hospital and caught the staff unaware. “I made the visit on the complaints of a friend,” Hottiana said in a statement. He visited the wards and expressed dissatisfaction about the affairs. The chief secretary also visited the waste disposal site and regretted the waste was being thrown into the river, pollution the whole water being used by innumerable human beings downstream. “Study the Punjab waste disposal
A 21st Century hospital
model and introduce the same in Gilgit – Baltistan,” he asked Gilgit’s deputy commissioner and the secretary health. He also asked
authorities to install incinerator in one of the two main government hospitals. Hottiana said once the waste disposals in place, those
private hospitals violating it would be closed down. Hottiana said that funds would be released to the hospital to make its condition better.
Young voters can change the future Total number of voters in FATA stands at 1,738,313 with 179,304 in Mohmand Agency FAUZEE KHAN MOHMAND
QUETTA: Baloch nationalists protest outside Quetta Press Club. (Inset: A woman member of Baloch Republican Party wearing a hijab which represents the colours of the party flag). The prevailing situation in Balochistan demands unhindered participation of nationalists in general elections. –ONLINE
Sherpao unveils 12-point manifesto PESHAWAR: The Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) on Sunday unveiled its 12-point manifesto envisaging the restoration sustainable peace by building national consensus and introducing a policy framework to identify the root causes of terrorism and militancy. It underscored the need for enabling pro-active and civilian-led initiatives to address the problems of violence, intolerance and militancy. The party’s manifesto said that Pakistan was a federal state under the 1973 Constitution and the party would strive for the creation of new federating units on the basis of public demand. Announcing the party’s manifesto at a press conference, QWP Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that no effort would be spared to implement the election manifesto in letter and spirit if voted to power. About the fiscal issues, he said the party believed in the constitutional framework that determined the rights of the provinces on resources generated within the provinces. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the biggest producer of hydel power, but despite constitutional guarantees, it remained deprived of its due share in the net hydel profits. “The party will initiate a three-tier good governance programme for political, economic and civic governance to introduce institutional reforms for ensuring good governance practices through public participation, transparency, accountability and access to information,” the manifesto said. Outlining the party’s policy on addressing the energy crisis, Aftab Sherpao said QWP would address the energy and gas shortages issues by attracting investment in the energy sector mainly in hydel and coal-based sectors. Aftab Sherpao said the education budget would be enhanced from the current 2.2 per cent of the GDP to at least 5 per cent million to raise the literacy. –ONLINE
‘Girl friend, teacher behind son’s murder’
Father says police not taking action against Shahwaiz Malik’s killers RASHID ALI
ATTOCK: Father of a deceased student Shahwaiz Malik, who has been allegedly murdered by his former girl friend with the help of her friend-cum teacher of same university in the federal capital some days back, has disclosed that the police seem reluctant to arrest the two nominated accused despite the registration of FIR against them because of their influence. Malik Amir Iqbal, a resident of Attock city, while talking to local newsmen disclosed that his 22-yearold son - a MBA student of a private university at Islamabad, was allegedly murdered by his ex-girl friend Hadia Mansoor, who also studied in the same varsity, with the help of Mohsin Zeb. Describing motives behind the incident, Malik Amir informed journalists that his son had friendship with his university’s fellow girl Hadia, but it did not last long as she was also developing interest in Mohsin, a teacher at the same university. Since then, it became a rivalry-like situation among the deceased and teacher, he added. Some days back, his son exchanged harsh words with Mohsin over the friendship tussle, about which he also had informed some friends and relatives, the dejected father said. Meanwhile, his son was invited by Hadia at her
house located in I-8/2 Islamabad on April 8 for a meeting to resolve the issue, but his son was not aware that it was a plan for his murder, he said, adding that later on, his bulletriddled body was found from a deserted plot of the same locality. Malik Amir said all the circumstances proved that his son had been killed under a plan orchestrated by his ex-girl friend with the help of her friendcum-teacher to remove him from their way. But unfortunately, local police was giving an impression intentionally that it was a suicide incident allegedly because of connivance of the two accused, he regretted. He went on to say that alleged killers could not be arrested so far despite the registration of a murder case under FIR No-141 on Friday with the I-9 Police Station against them. “How his beloved son can commit suicide, as he had all kind of facilities and living a happy life,” he explained. Moreover, his university fellows were also aware of all the facts and illmotives behind his son’s tragic murder, he argued. The aggrieved father demanded the federal Interior minister and Islamabad Police chief to take notice of delay in the arrest of the two accused, which should be immediately besides conducting an impartial investigation of his son’s murder incident.
Power pylon blown up; no electricity in Jamrud KH Y BER AGENC Y: A high tension transmission line supplying power to Landi Kotal was blown up by explosives on Saturday late night in the Shakas area of Tehsil Jamrud. Sources said an explosive device planted beneath one of the power pylons razed it to the ground, after which electricity supply was suspended to Tehsil Landi Kotal and the adjacent areas. When contacted, a TESCO official confirmed the incident and said that small towers would be set up on an emergency basis to resume electricity within three days. Annoyed by the incident, the locals said every pylon had a watchman but ironically they drew their salaries without to join their duties. They also regretted that hundreds of Khasadar force members had been deployed on dozen of check posts on Pak-Afghan road to collect illicit money but the high up of political administration were not interested to post them on guarding installing of the government. It is important to state that seven towers had been demolished in the Shagai area of Tehsil Jamrud last year, which halted to power supply to Landi Kotal for eighteen days.
GHALANAI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already announced the final electoral voters’ lists in order to hold free and fair elections, while a large of new voters have been included the lists. These voters have the right to cast their vote for their respective candidates and to bring positive change in Pakistan in 2013 election. There are total 1,738,313 registered voters in FATA, out of which the figures for Mohmand Agency are 179,304 with 119,304 male and 60,000 female voters. A large number of new voters have registered in the voters’ lists, and all political parties are doing their best to gain their attention. Because many of the new voters are young and avid users of social media, the political parties are writing blogs, getting Facebook IDs and strengthening their youth wings to disseminate their
information to ordinary people and voters. Particularly PTI has begun giving momentum to gain the attention of young voters. Majority of the new voters are educated and also include some aged voters. Political analysts say this large number of new voters could bring important changes and new faces in the political scene. This correspondent decided to speak to some young voters in Mohmand Agency to gauge their opinions. Alamgir Khan, a 24-year-old a student, said, “I went to the Election Commission office a month ago to register myself as a voter and to bring change through voting by electing the right people who could find a way out of the problems of the common man.” Another young man, Waseem Khan, who sells dry fruit from a cart, said, “People are fed up of their problems and if this time people don’t cast their vote for the right people, the future will be
worse than the present.” Ibrar Hussain, a student, said that voters will play a major role in the upcoming elections. “If voters don’t elect the right people,” he said, “they will definitely cry, just like they are crying under the past government.” Another student, Ijaz Khan, said that people want change and that voters can bring change in the upcoming elections. “People should vote for the party which can put Pakistan on the track to true democracy,” he said. The president of Mohmand Adabi Ghuncha (MAG), Ghulam Hussain Mohib said that people should cast their vote after discussing with their friends and colleagues since they are acquainted with the current politicians. “They know who is good and who is bad,” he said. “Young people now are very concerned about the present deteriorating law and order situation.”
Supreme Court to hear high treason petition against Musharraf today OUR STAFF REPORTER
ATTOCK: The Supreme Court will hear the petition concerning high treason filed the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) through its central chairman, Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik, against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf and its 481 collaborators. It may be recalled that the petition was filed in September 2009 under Article 6. The CCP in its petition said Musharraf was not alone in abrogating and subverting the Constitution in imposing unconstitutional emergency on November 3, as the plot also included former prime
minister Shaukat Aziz, former governors and chief ministers, former National Assembly speaker Amir Hussain and Senate chairman Mohammed Mian Soomro, 75 former federal ministers, 245 MNAs, 97 senators besides 65 judges of apex and high courts including former Chief Justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar. It also listed three full generals including Musharraf, 12 corps commanders, one majorgeneral, Brigadier Aasim Salim Bajwa and some top bureaucrats as the culprits. The CCP also cited the then chiefs of ISI, MI and IB, saying all of them were responsible for abetting and aiding in the abrogation and subversion of Constitution.
FAISALABAD: Election activity gains momentum in the city, which is badly hurt by the unending power crisis. –ONLINE
‘US seeks to export Afghan war to split Pakistan’ MONITORING DESK LAHORE: An analyst says the main purpose of the US war in Afghanistan was to export it across the border to break up Pakistan, Press TV reports. The comments came after former President Pervez Musharraf admitted that his government had agreed “a few” times to the United States launching drone strikes inside the South Asian country. The unpopular drone strikes, according to the nonpartisan public policy group New American Foundation, have an estimated death toll of at least 1,990 people in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians.
Press TV conducted an interview with Webster Tarpley, author and historian from Washington to further discuss the issue. Tarpley said the drone strikes had become a big political issue in Pakistan for understandable reasons. “I regard this entire policy as appalling and indefensible; it has gone on much too long. The Afghan war is a war that should have never occurred and it’s now gone on for 12 or 13 years. It’s high time that it simply ended and there’s no reason to wait for 2014. It would be important to stop these useless and senseless killings as soon as possible.” He further opined that the part of the
strategy had nothing to do with the alleged killing of terrorists, but it had to do with trying to breakup Pakistan, which was the main purpose of the US presence in Afghanistan from the very beginning and of the surge in 2009 to try to export that Afghan civil war into Pakistan and to break up the country. He also said that the whatever the Afghan war was at the beginning in 2001 with the West Point Speech by Obama in December 2009, it fundamentally changed its character and it became even more markedly an attempt to take that long running Afghan civil war and push that into Pakistan.
Talking about the origin of al Qaeda, Tarpley said, “It’s the Arab legion created by the United States in Saudi Arabia during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, who were designed to fight the Soviets. He further said the goal of the US policy was the destruction of the modern state; the mini state, micro state, failed state, rump state, war lords; but, to destroy political units that were big enough to defend themselves, fight back and say no. About drones, Tarpley said, “We have to look at the harvest of hate that is being sown against the United States in the world and I shudder to think
what the implications of that are for the future. My only recommendation can be to stop this right now. The great principle of international relations is reciprocity; whatever you do to the other guy the other guy will eventually find a way to do to you. Let us not go down this road once again. “The presence of the US in Afghanistan after we’ve looked at the original 2001 reasons and the West Point 2009 reasons, right now it comes down to the political inertia of the Obama regime. In other words Obama’s weakness as a leader, the weakness of his constituency, his inability to impose his will on the Pentagon.”
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
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 www.thespokesman.pk firstname.lastname@example.org
What is contemporary art in Pakistan? Whether traditional art practitioners or the cool conceptualists, artists in Pakistan need to question, experiment and explore art practice for their work to be informed of its history and challenge the present to be considered contemporary
Selling education in the UK Since pecuniary interests have taken over the domain of education in the UK, several concerns of overseas students, particulalry Pakistani students, have come to the fore. While Pakistani students prefer to embellish their qualifications by getting at least one post-graduate degree from a top ranking university of the UK, a rat race is going on amongst the universities to invite a large number of overseas students each year to meet their financial earning targets. Resultantly, a gap is appearing between what is claimed by a univesity through its colouorful brochures and booklets and what the university can offer on the ground. Legal lacunas existing in the bylaws of UK’s universities add fuel to the fire. The British High Commission that gathers millions of rupees every year in the name of the student visa fee, whether an application is accepted or rejected, cannot be exonerated from responsibility. The British Council which is also mandated to establish a people-to-people contact between the UK and Pakistan should also share its responsibility, if not the blame. The council holds regular education fairs in Pakistan’s major cities and advertises heavily in the Pakistani media to attract Pakistani students to study in the UK , but it refuses to take responsibility for ensuring that the students land up in credible universities rather than a plethora of scam institutions that are flourishing in the UK right under the nose of the British government. There is virtually no body or platform available in Pakistan which protects the interests of Pakistani students seeking quality education in the UK once they get enrolled. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan is the first body that should show its concern in this regard and come up with plausible suggestions to tackle the problem. The HEC should blacklist UK’s universities that exploit Pakistani students or construct bylaws that go against the academic and research interests of overseas Pakistani students. The Pakistan High Commission and Consulates in the UK should also be given a formal responsibility for taking care of Pakistani students studying in the UK’s universities and provide them assistance in taking action against malpractice and fraud in British educational instituties. The complaints of Pakistani students with the academic and research standards of these universities militates against the rationale of the existence of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education in the UK. Currently, Pakistani overseas students are on their own to protect their interests, which is not possible for them due to a lack of awareness about their rights under British law and also due to the cumbersome procedures they must go through to follow up their complaints and have them redressed. Overseas students (and their parents) should not be left to think that they were hoodwinked into joining a course and then left with no other option but to submit to whatever is being given to them – just because the university happens to be in the UK. The field of education should not be left to the goodwill of the business sector, whether the country is the UK or Pakistan. This also applies to the rapidly flourishing education sector in Pakistan which heavily relies on the factor of earning money and issuing statements and claims which cannot be met in reality.
in its broadest sense, is everywhere but like all fields this one must also The ninth ‘Young Artists’ Exhibition’ have parameters. So I guess I am interested in contemporary art, art opened at Alhamra Art Gallery in Lahore on 8 March. It is important to that is critically engaging, aware of its appreciate the efforts of Alhamra, an history and challenges the present. arts council space that was previously So when you walk around an renowned for its empty halls, to take exhibition of young artists and the majority consists of compositional such an initiative. The change is exercises and thematic work that noticeable since the current curator, really goes nowhere, you would also Tanya Suhail, took over the gallery. She spearheaded this mammoth task be bothered. I feel the thing lacking most is a to bring forward art representative of our youth. It is also worth noting that clear definition of what we mean by the word “young”. Are we taking no other exhibition in the country about age or do we mean fresh ideas? truly surveys young artists’ on a Without a clear set of rules, there will nationwide scale. be no improvement. From among And yet, when I walk around students and recent graduates you ‘Memoirs of the Future’, as the show occasionally meet people who have is called, I am disappointed. Why? Because I feel this platform is capable shown a lot. The sheer amount of art overwhelms you. If there is work that of doing so much more and in that sense falls short. Regular shows of this sort for nearly a decade should have turned this annual exhibition into a powerful institution in its own right. Unfortunately, it has regressed. Partly, the reason is the use of a celebratory approach to art-making as an excuse for lack of critical discourse in Pakistan. Every form of artistic activity seems to be a milestone. The belief that because we suffer so much on a daily basis creative expression in this country is close to being miraculous. Ironically, in history it has been uncertain times that have resulted in the greatest art critically engages, it is overshadowed the world has known. For example, by the multitudes of “class the Dada movement was conceived assignments”. I was told exceptions as a reaction to the atrocities of the are made for people coming from First World War. Hence, it is not surprising at all that art comes out of areas suffering from lack of exposure. I agree with that but feel that, over Pakistan. It is a region that is the years, they should have been incredibly rich in terms of history encouraged to increase that exposure. and has been significant also in Clearly, that has not been done. This recent times. Our people, and especially artists, are in no way short justification might have been valid when the initial idea was conceived. of subject matter. Despite this, what Now it has become a case of allowing we see is a limited amount of mediocrity pass by as the general understanding, exploration and standard to art-making. The bar experimentation. must be raised. I felt sadness at the show because If we expand this discussion and these fresh minds that are a vital see contemporary art as what is asset to our country’s future had an happening now, then wouldn’t what underexposed sense of what art was. we see at Alhamra also be considered This is where I stopped because I contemporary? In a recent interview wondered, could it be that we are I conducted with one of the directors talking about a different art? I questioned myself, what is art which, of Art Dubai, an Indian historian of
redundant but it would be fair to say that the new is also not so new any longer. So the vision that changed Pakistani art can now be considered outdated. There is a boom, internationally Pakistani artists are more in demand and locally we see multitudes entering the field. New exhibitions open almost every week. My only concern is that unless we are engaging critically and addressing the right questions, this process will stagnate, as has often been the case with many of our artists. I do believe that our traditionalists are as relevant to our history and debates as is currently, let’s say, Rashid Rana. Whether we agree with their practices is a secondary issue. The way forward is in fact to reflect on our history. To re-examine what has been written and question those who wrote it. This is what our future artists should be doing vocally and visually. I feel we need to transcend location-based issues and become part of global discussions. We need to devise ways to make the kind of criticality we showcase abroad more home grown. Instead of seeing the same old names travelling out of the country, more young people should be encouraged to exhibit abroad. A classic example is Waqas Khan, since graduating in 2008, he has independently been exhibiting in international galleries and art fairs. Now Khan has been shortlisted for hypothesis is that there is a strong the prestigious Jameel Prize at the divide in the way our art has been locally cultivated. Different ideologies Victoria and Albert Museum. As long as we see fresh voices being have developed simultaneously. introduced into our otherwise There is what I call the incestuous art scene, we know we’re “traditionalists” and then those who headed in the right direction. consider themselves Concluding with the words of “contemporaries” or representatives Savita Apte, ‘Critical discourse and of the “new”. documentation are key factors in The likes of Khalid Iqbal, Saeed assuring the continued Akhtar, Jamil Naqsh, Iqbal Hussain development and access to art would fall in the category of the traditionalists. The new, I consider a produced in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region’. movement really, promoted by Salima Hashmi if not in fact initiated Hopefully, through this dialogue we can ensure improvement in the by her. Artists influenced by her are producing work that is mostly socio- young artists’ exhibition and see political but not critically engaging in more challenging activities at home. practices that draw from content ABDULLAH QURESHI rooted here. Moreover, these proponents of “the new” believe they THE WRITER IS AN ARTIST AND have made the traditionalist PROPRIETOR OF GALLERY 39-K modern and contemporary art, Savita Apte, explained what contemporary meant to her. The definition of Contemporary Art, apart from a purely temporal aspect, is so diffuse but, she continued, ‘I would say, it is art that has been produced in this century rather than in the last. Art that is produced by artists who are democratic in their choices, so that medium relates to content and content relates to their own life experiences’. If we compare the artistic activity going on in Pakistan to its representation abroad there is a drastic difference. Outside the country, it appears that we are critically active and progressing to new ideas but on ground in Pakistan, that is really not the situation. My
These proponents of “the new” believe they have made the traditionalist redundant, but it would be fair to say that the new is also not so new any longer. So the vision that changed Pakistani art can now be considered outdated
Syrian human rights front is EU-funded fraud TONY CARTALUCCI In reality, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has long ago been exposed as an absurd propaganda front operated by Rami Abdul Rahman out of his house in England's countryside. According to a December 2011 Reuters article titled, "Coventry - an unlikely home to prominent Syria activist", Abdul Rahman admits he is a member of the socalled "Syrian opposition" and seeks the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad: After three short spells in prison in Syria for pro-democracy activism, Abdulrahman came to Britain in 2000 fearing a longer, fourth jail term. ‘I came to Britain the day Hafez al-Assad died, and I'll return when Bashar al-Assad goes’, Abdulrahman said, referring to Bashar's father and his predecessor. One could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his "Observatory" has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media. Perhaps worst of all, is that the United Nations uses this compromised, absurdly overt source of propaganda as the basis for its various reports - at least, that
Despite its central role in the savage civil war in Syria, the grandly named Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is virtually a one-man band. Its founder, Rami Abdul Rahman, 42, who fled Syria 13 years ago, operates out of a semidetached red-brick house on an ordinary residential street in the drab industrial city of Coventry in England is what the New York Times now claims in their recent article, "A Very Busy Man Behind the Syrian Civil War’s Casualty Count." The NYT piece admits: Military analysts in Washington follow its body counts of Syrian and rebel soldiers to gauge the course of the war. The United Nations and human rights organisations scour its descriptions of civilian killings for evidence in possible war crimes trials. Major news organisations, including this one, cite its casualty figures. Yet, despite its central role in the savage civil war, the grandly named Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is virtually a one-man band. Its founder, Rami Abdul Rahman, 42, who fled Syria 13 years ago, operates out of a semidetached red-brick house on an ordinary residential street in this drab industrial city [Coventry, England]. The New York Times also for the first time reveals that Abdul Rahman's operation is indeed funded by the
we remain indifferent. A population of more than 180 million can handle a few hundreds, maybe a few thousands of lawbreakers, if they want to. It is high time we unite and stand against oppression. We need to get out of our houses on the election day to make a right choice and cast our votes, accordingly. We need to stop discriminating between the social classes and the ethnicity so we may progress ahead. We need to take a stand, change ourselves in order to bring the change in our country.
We must vote! The air of indifference in Pakistan is pathetic. We either close our eyes, or delude ourselves into thinking that it won’t matter to us. We have social workers such as Parveen Rehman and Malala Yusufzai being targeted, communities being terrorised, scholars getting killed, drone attacks happening and economy failing. Nothing and nobody except the privileged few are safe or protected, yet
AREESHA MAZHAR LAHORE
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Benazir and Zardari killed Bhutto Bhutto might be dead in the Punjab because Punjabis have do not have some needs like "Roti ,Kapra, Makaan" but in Sindh he is still lives
European Union and a "European country" he refuses to identify: Money from two dress shops covers his minimal needs for reporting on the conflict, along with small subsidies from the European Union and one European country that he declines to identify. And while Abdul Rahman refuses to identify that "European country," it is beyond doubt that it is the United Kingdom itself - as Abdul Rahman has direct access to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, who he has been documented meeting in person on multiple occasions at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The NYT in fact reveals that it was the British government that first relocated Abdul Rahman to Coventry, England after he fled Syria over a decade ago because of his antigovernment activities: When two associates were arrested in 2000, he fled the country, paying a human trafficker to smuggle him into England. The government resettled him in Coventry,
because Sindhis, after suffering so many deprivations and miseries, still believe in strong bonds of love "’ Till death do us part’." SANA BALOCH
PTI Mess Shah Mahmood Qureshi is contesting from four constituencies this time; two on PTI’s ticket and two as an independent. Imran Khan knows this and has allowed him to do so. He is fighting independently in Sindh only to take advantage of the political scenario in Umerkot and Tharparkar. Shah has many mureed there. He is likely to make a seat adjustment with Pir Pagara and Arbab Ghulam Raheem in order to win from those two seats and get a third seat for PTI from Ghotki as well. I think this ploy is so that Shah Mahmood as a leader of Ghausia Jamaat makes an adjustment with Pagara on a personal level thus saving PTI from any scenario where
where he decided he liked the slow pace. Abdul Rahman is not a "human rights activist." He is a paid propagandist. He is no different than the troupe of unsavory, willful liars and traitors provided refuge in Washington and London during the Iraq war and the West's more recent debauchery in Libya, for the sole purpose of supplying Western governments with a constant din of propaganda and intentionally falsified intelligence reports designed specifically to justify the West's hegemonic designs. Abdul Rahman's contemporaries include the notorious Iraqi defector Rafid alJanabi, codename "Curveball," who now gloats publicly that he invented accusations of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the West's casus belli for a 10 year war that ultimately cost over a million lives, including thousands of Western troops, and has left Iraq still to this day in shambles. There's also the lesser known Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir of Libya, who formed the foundation of the pro-West human
the party has to have make any seat adjustment with PML (F). In any case, if Shah wins from Umerkot and Tharparkar and as an independent candidate, PTI has nothing to lose, it will only gain. This is a purely political tactic.
rights racket in Benghazi and now openly brags in retrospect that tales of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's atrocities against the Libyan people were likewise invented to give NATO its sought-after impetus to intervene militarily. Unlike in Iraq and Libya, the West has failed categorically to sell military intervention in Syria, and even its covert war has begun to unravel as the public becomes increasingly aware that the socalled "pro-democracy rebels" the West has been arming for years are in fact sectarian extremists fighting under the banner of Al Qaeda. The charade that is the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is also unraveling. It is unlikely that the New York Times' limited hangout will convince readers that Rami Abdul Rahman is anything other than another "Curveball" helping the corporate-financier elite of Wall Street and London sell another unnecessary war to the public.
judges; - a far graver crime than the sacking of an elected government which was condoned by the judiciary? Article 6 has put the court in a difficult situation. These are indeed testing times for the honourable judges of the apex court.
Mush gets SC breather The apex court has to tread with caution. It is the aggrieved party in the case and has been forced by circumstances to sit on judgment. Musharraf, a political nobody, is totally isolated and roundly humiliated. The so-called forces of “the rule of law” are out to get him. But in this charged atmosphere of revenge, the court has to take stock of the circumstances. Was Musharraf a lone-ranger or was he supported by the entire government machinery in imposing emergency rule? Did this emergency rule result in sacking of
Shah Mahmood Qureshi—duped I have enjoyed this piece on Shah Mahmood Quershi. The venom is filled to the brims and over flowing, inundating everything in the way. The grizzly bear and pop-eyed buffoon loved to tango with Hillary, who ditched him. She used his idiotic buffoon-style and wordy dialogues. She was not impressed by him but he thought so. This poor man from Multan has lived a life of luxury on the alms of charitable endowments. He looks like a goof and acts like a goof. How
can someone want to have him as a friend is beyond belief. He can open a circus and have his own show with a grizzly bear. He could live on the money earned by the bear.
Treason nightmares disturb Mush family
Musharraf has done more for Pakistan than any of the elected politicians. His term in office was a period of economic growth for Pakistan. My sympathies and best wishes are with him. I understand that he has to face a pack of a carnivorous scavenging Hyenas. He is not likely to get justice as the "Naraz Collaborators " would like to give him a finishing blow before December 2013. A J KHAN
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MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
It’s all about the clay On the doubles side of things, there will be some Pakistani interest as the duo of Aisam and Rojer aim to break their Grand Slam duck. Ranked fourth in the world, the Pakistani-Dutch pair is riding on a new wave of confidence with their win in Miami Rolex Masters next week. The abbreviated schedule makes sense due to a number of different reasons. For starters, the Swiss maestro is not getting any younger and hence he feels the need to SABA AZIZ schedule his tournaments wisely. "I can't play a year like I did last year every single season, because that The European clay court season isn't the point I'm at in my career swings into action on Sunday at I'm not 22 where I have to play 25picturesque Monaco, the site of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. For the 30 tournaments a year," says next six weeks, the best men’s tennis Federer. With the clay season players in the world will feature in a already so taxing on the body, the 31 year old Basel native will be series of clay court tournaments conserving all his energy for the big leading up to the ultimate event in one in Paris. However, with Nadal Paris, the Roland Garros. From the and Djokovic nipping at his feet, it Mediterranean setting, the players will be a tough ask for Federer to move on to the Catalonian capital, Barcelona, followed by the blue clay come away with a win. His best chance of a title will be on the in Madrid and finish off at Rome. slippery, blue clay of Madrid, where With three Masters 1000 events he won last year. (Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome) Spain’s Rafael Nadal wasted no and plenty of points up for grabs, a time in getting back to top form lot is riding on for the top quartet. after his lengthy layoff from the Clay is by far the most physically game. With already two 250 level demanding surface in tennis. The titles on clay and the win at Indian ball picks up the crushed shale, Wells under his belt, the current making it heavier and bounces world number five has given plenty relatively higher and more slowly. of reason to suggest his continued Slower conditions mean longer dominance on his beloved red clay rallies since it becomes difficult to once again this year. Nadal’s entire finish off points early. Only the fittest can survive on clay. So for the season revolves around this time of the year. He has proved his coming weeks, prepare yourself for supremacy over his arch rivals on all the grinding, slipping, sliding this surface for the past eight years and gladiatorial drama on the red with his peerless record. His stuff. ferociously spun forehand is a lethal Novak Djokovic’s 2013 clay campaign received a minor setback weapon on clay and the movement comes very naturally to him. He when he twisted his right ankle during Davis Cup duty in Idaho. But effectively manages to wear his the world number one is optimistic opponents down before unleashing after seeing his test results, and will the knock-out punch. Clay is also the one surface friendly on Nadal’s hopefully be fit to participate in troubled knees. From the little that Monte-Carlo. The Serb is possibly we’ve seen of the Mallorcan this the biggest threat to Nadal’s reign season, it will either take a on red clay. He successfully Herculean effort from the top four managed to tame the Spaniard in guys or a serious injury to stop the 2011 clay season, getting the Rafa’s run on the dirt. better of Nadal in the Madrid and Nadal’s compatriot, Ferrer will Rome finals. He made it all the way also be missing Monte-Carlo due a to the final of the French Open last thigh injury he picked up during his year, the only Grand Slam title to loss to Murray in the Miami final. elude Djokovic up till now. Expect Provided he recovers, look out for the Serb to go all out this season to this workhorse to be making some do one better than his runner-up major inroads throughout the finish in Paris last year. course of the clay season. Other Scotland’s Andy Murray overtook players who feel at home on this Federer’s number two spot with his title win in Miami earlier this month. surface include the talented Frenchman Gasquet, the big-hitting Despite spending his early years in Argentine Del Potro and Spain’s Barcelona, training on clay at the Nicolas Almagro. well-reputed Sánchez-Casal On the doubles side of things, Academy, the Scot has not seen there will be some Pakistani interest considerable success on the dirt. as the duo of Aisam and Rojer aim Without a single clay court title to his name as yet, Murray’s best result to break their Grand Slam duck. Ranked fourth in the world, the was a semi-final showing at Roland Pakistani-Dutch pair is riding on a Garros two years ago. Murray’s new wave of confidence with their natural hard court game does not win in Miami. One year into their translate well on red clay, and he tends to lose his cool quite often. His partnership, the two are finally coming into their own. Aisam will clay court deficiencies are especially exposed against the likes of Rafa and be hoping to put the drama of the Davis Cup saga behind him to focus Nole, who are more accomplished on a successful clay court campaign. than Murray on this surface. With old rivalries renewed, clay The recently deposed world court tennis and the not so small number two, Roger Federer has made some notable omissions from matter of the year’s second Grand Slam on the cards, exciting times lie his playing schedule this year. ahead for the tennis fans. Having opted out of the Miami Masters last month, the Swiss will THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER not be featuring in the Monte-Carlo
Wasting 180 million minds ATHAR MIAN
Just as with the IT outsourcing boom, Pakistan has failed to capitalise on the global apps boom. Every small step forward liberates many brave souls to create jobs and wealth for all
graduates, working out of home or in small teams, don’t even get paid. For small firms, the costs of advertising There are good and bad news with and of apps development themselves the staggering rise of the software, is growing in double digits annually, especially, mobile applications or and various niches get quickly apps market worldwide since the saturated. Mobile games are a big iPhone debuted five years ago. In challenge: even though much simpler 2013, just online apps store sales than PC or console based editions, globally are expected to rise 62 going from free to freemium is a percent to 25 billion dollars, according to Gartner. As comparison, highly risky business. Just as with the IT outsourcing Pakistan’s GDP in 2012 was 240 boom, Pakistan has failed to billion dollars. capitalise on the global apps boom, The battle between Google and Apple continues as Google’s Android owing to the same old reasons - a friends-and-family approach with a operating system is now double tiny elite monopolising an Apple’s IOS market share. A nonwestern company for the first time in otherwise open industry, but who cannot compete against their well computing history, Samsung, has organised and network-effect started taking massive mobile share, enabled Indian counterparts. with several Chinese firms like Tencent building fast growth markets Indian IT revenues have exceeded the 100 billion dollars mark, while in Asia. And just this February, the Pakistan’s IT industry sales are world’s top 17 telecom firms, in their hardly several hundred million annual Barcelona summit, backed a dollars, even though Pakistan has new mobile operating system from cheaper labour and started with Firefox that will be virtually free like Android, but less restrictive and with less bureaucracy. The fact is that government, still more features. 70 percent of the GDP, has stifled The cost of smartphones is enterprise, and is best avoided. A projected to drop from hundreds to case in point: In 2010, the Punjab few tens of dollars in some years. IT bureaucracy awarded Microsoft SMS, the most popular mobile apps a no-bid 10 million dollar contract over the years, and exchanged to supply software, otherwise hundreds of billions times annually, available for free (and unregulated is now rapidly declining in usage, in India and China precisely to causing phone companies to create local competitive advantage), scramble to find new revenue for 45,000 seats. But Punjab hardly streams, potentially mobile had 5000 seats in total. A big IT advertising. The new tablets too are tower in Lahore, still unfinished replacing smartphones. which has cost the taxpayer 50-60 On the other hand, Forrester research also shows that two thirds of million dollars already, has yet to house a private anchor tenant. users download free apps only, and Several highly paid executives have even though Instagram, a new mobile been involved, with stretched photo sharing outfit was bought for resumes, both bearded and clean $1 billion by Google in 2012, such shaven, whose myriad projects have success also means failure for yet to produce any visible industry thousands of other apps start-ups. gains or jobs, except personal cult More than half developers, mostly building and many conflicts of young high school or college
interest from personal businesses on the side. The entrepreneurs who, when briefly involved, created multimillion dollar foreign technology investment prospects and built incubators that actually created companies with several hundred employees earning foreign exchange abroad, left a while ago. Obviously, the plain vanilla corrupt and vampire squid like babus will remain in place, given their connections. The best course of action, then, for our budding entrepreneurs is to avoid such sloganeering and those various associations catering to the cults of their lifetime chairmen (and women.) There still are many low cost, team work opportunities despite hurdles. For example, redmondpie.com, started by a Bahria U graduate, makes 11,000 dollars with 300,000 visitors monthly, and is now worth 270,000 dollars. New techniques of social media, SMO, replacing search engine, or SEO, optimisation after 2012, are freely available, with growing global electronics product reviews and tech help markets, including Youtube webinars. It is now possible to custom design smartphones with dedicated apps with low cost tools in small quantities. With import duties going up, and market shares changing, this is a worthwhile venture. New SMS forms can also be thought of as cheap, unlicensed telecoms services with reasonable revenue streams in many vertical markets like healthcare, mobile payments, disaster recovery and agriculture markets, with examples from both Asian and African emerging nations. Again, the best ventures are those not involving NGOs or government, who are the last to know and first to wrest control. Even though most local gaming effort is low end outsourcing, there
also have been good efforts in video game design studios (e.g., Mindstorm that created a pioneer cricket game) and global team building for producing and marketing mobile games employing several hundred, e.g., Tapfish, acquired by a Japanese firm. The start-up cost of such efforts and tools now is much less compared to just several years ago, and new platforms like tablets and Firefox are available, also useful for the nascent edutainment market (services and products for tablet based teaching, testing and mobile servicing, already a 5 billion dollar market in the US.) Besides technology focus, there are many web based small businesses that can benefit from local apps development. In India, a dozen-employee team developed apps for online sales of customised jeans, shoes and clothing to western countries last year. There is space for new start-ups to build low cost online media for regional audiences, with global advertising and events. There already are efforts to build a Kickstarter like venture funding platform in the Gulf that can only help genuine Pakistani entrepreneurs expand into the entire region. Pakistan has actually done well with its generic pharmaceutical industry, and there is big opportunity to build supply chain and sales software and online commerce, as with other industries like textiles, shipping, ticketing, and security services. Pakistan’s Internet and mobile infrastructure has been slow to develop, but every small step forward liberates many brave souls to create jobs and wealth for all. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Now multiply with 180 million and think of new ways to bridge the digital divide. THE AUTHOR IS A SILICON VALLEY ENTREPRENEUR
Paradoxes of the Pacific Pivot JOHN FEFFER The Obama administration made a big splash with its announcement of a re-balancing of US foreign policy. But it is in fact something that the Clinton administration also boasted about back in the 1990s. In 1993, Bill Clinton hosted the Leaders Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Seattle as part of his own administration’s shift toward the Pacific. With APEC and other initiatives, the United States wanted to cash in on the enormous economic growth taking place in a region where, as Clinton put it, countries have ‘gone from being dominoes to dynamos’. The George W. Bush administration went off on a different trajectory with its single-minded focus on the “global war on terror” and regime change in the Middle East. Many were the critics of the Bush administration’s neglect of the region and its “outsourcing” of Asia policy to China. But Bush was too preoccupied with trying to remake the Middle East – and then dealing with the inevitable negative consequences – to pay more than a modicum of attention to points East. The Obama administration has revived the old Clinton dream of rebranding the United States as a Pacific power. But there are two reasons why this new pivot doesn’t really exist except at a rhetorical level. During the 1990s, the Clinton administration was successful in turning around the US economy, at least in terms of shrinking deficits, encouraging impressive economic growth, reducing unemployment, and improving median wages. In other words, the United States was in a good position to take advantage of cooperation
The “Pacific pivot” of the United States is nothing new. At the same time, it doesn’t really exist. And yet, even though it doesn’t exist, this pivot is partly responsible for the escalation of tensions in and around the Korean peninsula. How can all three of these statements be simultaneously true? with Asian economies. Today, by contrast, the US economy is in difficult straits. Unemployment remains high, and growth anemic. Projected budget cuts may well send the economy into a downward spiral. The Obama administration bills the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) as a vehicle for growing its members’ economies. But the reality may well be closer to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which only contributed to the hollowing out of the U.S. manufacturing sector as companies fled south and north of the border. The most buzz about the Pacific pivot, however, has been on national security. Having presided over military fiascos in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Pentagon is planning a move to calmer waters. Former Pentagon head Leon Panetta announced, for instance, that the United States would devote 60 percent of its naval warships to the region, up from 50 percent. But that’s about it, actually. There will be some rearrangement of existing US forces in Asia, with some Marines heading to Australia and an expansion of facilities on Guam. But this shell game of “strategic realignment” is largely an effort to reduce the US military footprint on Okinawa, again something promised a while ago by Bill Clinton. And the promised bump up of US
capabilities in the region will probably, because of US budget cuts, turn out to be a reduction. Panetta predicted that sequestration would leave the United States with the smallest ground forces since 1940, a fleet of fewer than 230 ships, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the US Air Force. With sequestration now a reality, new Pentagon head Chuck Hagel is telling the Pentagon to get ready for serious belt-tightening. The Pentagon has nevertheless insisted that the pivot is happening and recently sent a new class of combat ships to Singapore as proof. But if you believe that the “Pacific pivot” will mean a larger US footprint in the region, think again. So, the much vaunted rebalancing of US foreign and military policy is nothing new, and because of budget cuts, it doesn’t really exist. How then could something that is not new and not real have an impact? With its new policy approach, the Obama administration has obviously felt the need to respond to critics that it was ignoring the growing threats of China and North Korea. The Pacific pivot was designed to strengthen relations with US allies like South Korea and the Philippines, improve ties with China-skeptical countries like Vietnam and Burma, and remind both Beijing and Pyongyang of Washington’s interests in the region. Even if this rebalancing is largely rhetorical, it
has put both countries on edge. China is already engaged in serious military budget increases. US commitment to missile defense systems in the region, because they threaten to eliminate China’s deterrent capability, will only encourage Beijing to spend more on more offensive systems. And North Korea has an even more precarious nuclear arsenal that U.S. missile defense could render non-functional. Washington, of course, insists that its military presence in the Pacific is strictly defensive. The Obama administration has emphasised that the Pacific pivot is really about stronger economic, diplomatic, and cultural engagement with the region. But that’s not how Pyongyang views the situation. It sees the Pacific pivot as a prelude to an attack, however much the Pentagon denies such plans (and however much such a plan would contradict the Pentagon’s risk-averse nature). Washington sees in Pyongyang a regime that has broken every agreement that it has signed. But Pyongyang sees it the other way around, that the United States never built the light-water reactors promised in the Agreed Framework, never followed up with serious economic engagement, never worked toward diplomatic recognition, and never reduced in any way the huge array of weapons pointing in North Korea’s direction. When Washington assures Pyongyang that it has no intention of launching a preemptive strike, Pyongyang
can’t get images of Serbia, Iraq, and Libya out of its mind. North Korea is not happy when the United States ignores it. Nor is it happy when the United States seems to be repositioning its military to focus on Northeast Asia. Yes, North Korea has engaged in a series of provocative actions (nuclear tests, missile launches) and even more worrying rhetorical threats (mounting a nuclear strike on the United States). But these actions take place in a deteriorating security environment for which many countries must take responsibility, including the United States. There's still time for the United States to make a pivot on its pivot. Instead of emphasising the military components of this reorientation of US foreign policy, Washington could turn around and say to North Korea, ‘Okay, let’s talk’, Pyongyang has demonstrably muted its actions and rhetoric when it has been in negotiations, whether bilateral or multilateral, so talks are the obvious way out of the current crisis. With a new leader in Seoul who has shown at least some commitment to reengaging the North, the United States needs to come up with a new and different Pacific pivot that places peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula at the top of the list of priorities. (COMONDREAMS.ORG)
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
US ready to ‘reach out’ to North Korea: Kerry
Death toll from bird ﬂu in China rises to 13 BEIJING: Two more people have died in China from a new strain of bird flu, raising the death toll from the virus to 13, state media reported Sunday. The official Xinhua News Agency said the two deaths were reported in Shanghai and that three new cases were also confirmed in the financial hub. A total of 11 new cases were reported Sunday — including two in a central province that previously had been unaffected. In all, 60 cases of the virus, known as H7N9, have been reported in China. The two cases reported Sunday in central Henan province, which is next to Beijing, followed an announcement Saturday that a 7year-old girl had become the first person in the capital to be infected with the virus. All previous reported cases were in Shanghai and other eastern areas of China. A World Health Organization official said Sunday that it wasn't surprising that the virus had spread to Beijing. Michael O'Leary, head of WHO's office in China, said it's not the case that everyone confirmed to be infected with H7N9 was "clustered in one small area with the same source of exposure." "So we've been expecting new cases to occur. –AGENCIES
TOKYO: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday stressed the United States is willing to engage with North Korea as long as it takes steps to give up nuclear weapons. He also vowed the United States would protect its Asian allies against any provocative acts by the North, but said Washington wants a peaceful solution to rising tensions in the region. "We are prepared to reach out but we need (the) appropriate moment, appropriate circumstance," Kerry
said, adding that North Korea had to take steps towards giving up its nuclear programs. "They have to take some actions. Now how many and how much I want to have a discussion with folks back in Washington (about)... but they have to take action," Kerry told a small group of reporters. The North has threatened for weeks to attack the United States,South Korea and Japan since new UN sanctions were imposed in response to its latest nuclear arms
test in February. Speculation has mounted of a new missile launch or nuclear test. "I think it is really unfortunate that there has been so much focus and attention in the media and elsewhere on the subject of war, when what we really ought to be talking about is the possibility of peace. And I think there are those possibilities," Kerry earlier told a news conference in Tokyo after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida. –AGENCIES
DPRK ﬂays S Korea’s dialogue overtures as ‘cunning ploy’ SEOUL : The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday slammed the dialogue overtures by South Korea as a "cunning ploy," Yonhap News Agency reported. The dialogue offer is "a cunning deploy to conceal their criminal wrongdoings that drove the Kaesong Industrial Complex into crisis, mislead public opinion inside and outside, and hide the policy of confrontation," a spokesman at the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in an interview with the official KCNA news agency. –AGENCIES
Strikes, clashes across Syria, 23 killed
Another Iraqi elections candidate killed BAGHDAD: A roadside bomb killed an Iraqi provincial elections candidate and three other people north of Baghdad on Sunday, bringing the number of candidates killed in attacks to 14, officials said. Najm al-Harbi was on travelling to Baquba on a highway in Diyala province in his personal vehicle when the bomb exploded, killing him, two of his brothers and a bodyguard, a police lieutenant colonel and a doctor said. An official from Deputy Prime Minister Saleh alMutlak’s office confirmed Harbi’s death, and said he was the head of the deputy premier’s list in Diyala province. Harbi’s killing comes a day after Hatim Mohammed al-Dulaimi, a candidate for Salaheddin provincial council, was shot dead by gunmen near his home in Baiji, north of the Iraqi capital. Soldiers and policemen cast their ballots for the provincial elections on Saturday, a week ahead of the main vote, the country’s first since March 2010 parliamentary polls. The election comes amid an uptick in violence and a long-running political crisis between Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki and several of his erstwhile government partners. –AGENCIES
Saudi prince backs letting women drive RIYADH: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has indicated support of allowing women there to drive. He says that would help the kingdom's campaign to cut down on the number of foreign workers. Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving. "The question of allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia will save more than 500,000 jobs in addition to the social and economic benefits," the prince wrote Sunday on his Twitter account. Thousands of foreign workers have been fired from their jobs and then deported, part of a government campaign against foreigners who illegally reside and work in the kingdom. Last week King Abdullah gave workers three months to try to legalize their presence. There are more than 8 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. –AGENCIES
LIMA: Rescue efforts were hampered by the steep cliff and rocky terrain. –WIRE SERVICE
Venezuelans vote to choose Hugo successor CARACAS: People in Venezuela are voting in a presidential election, called after the death of Hugo Chavez. Acting President Nicolas Maduro, chosen by Mr Chavez as his successor, is running against Henrique Capriles, currently governor of Miranda state. Mr Capriles narrowly lost to Mr Chavez in elections last October. On the eve of polls opening, he accused Mr Maduro of breaking election laws by continuing its campaign on state television. Mr Maduro, aged 50, whose campaign has focused on his close relationship to Mr Chavez, was shown visiting the tomb of the late leader, a move Mr Capriles, 40, said was "violating all the electoral norms". The BBC's Will Grant in Caracas says both candidates have to some extent broken the media silence they are supposed to have maintained since campaigning officially ended on Thursday. Almost 19 million Venezuelans will have the right to vote on Sunday. Voting is electronic - one machine will identify voters' fingerprints, and a second will recognise identity card numbers and register the vote anonymously. Polls opened at 06:30 local time (11:00 GMT) and will close 10 hours later, although they will stay open until all those queuing at closing time have voted. Official results are expected about three hours after the polls close. Both candidates wrote on the social network Twitter early in the morning. Mr Maduro invited Venezuelans to vote to guarantee the future and the perpetual peace of their country. Meanwhile opposition candidate Henrique Capriles described the day as great. The former president died on 5 March, after a two-year battle against an undisclosed type of cancer, prompting a short electoral campaign period before Sunday's elections. The winner is due to be sworn in on 19 April and serve until January 2019, to complete the six-year term that Mr
Chavez was supposed to have begun in January. Mr Chavez was a divisive leader. To his supporters he was the reforming president whose idiosyncratic brand of socialism defeated the political elite and gave hope to the poorest Venezuelans. He effectively used his country's vast oil reserves to boost Venezuela's international clout, and his strident criticism of the US won him many political allies in Latin America. However, his political opponents accuse him of being an autocrat, intent on building a one-party state. Mr Chavez bequeaths a nation beset by crumbling infrastructure, unsustainable public spending and under-performing industry. His handpicked candidate Nicolas Maduro is seen as the front-runner, but recent polls suggested the gap between him and his rival, Mr Capriles, was narrowing. "My vote will be for Maduro, but my heart will be with Chavez," Alejandro Almeida, 67, a retired factory worker, told the French news agency AFP. But opposition supporter Alexis Chacon, 74, who runs a chemical company, said he was "terribly disappointed" with the current situation in oil-rich Venezuela. All Venezuelan citizens aged above 18 are eligible to vote, and there are about 18.9 million registered voters out of a total population of 28.8 million. Some 100,000 Venezuelans living abroad will be able to vote in their respective countries. Some 39,322 ballot boxes were deployed at around 13,810 polling stations across the country. More than 3,000 national observers and 240 international observers will monitor the process. The polling stations opened at 6 a.m. local time (1030 GMT) and will close at 6 p.m. (2230 GMT). The final results are expected later Sunday night. Under Venezuela's constitution, a candidate who garners the largest number of votes wins the one-round voting. –AGENCIES
At least 33 dead in Peru bus crash LIMA: At least 33 people died and 10 others were injured early Saturday after a bus plunged 200 meters (650 feet) down a ravine in northern Peru, police said. The bus with the Horna company veered off a mountain road near the town of Otuzco some 570 kilometers (350 miles) north of Lima. Authorities blamed the region’s treacherous, winding roads, the poor condition of the vehicle and driver error for the accident. Road accidents are common in the Peruvian Andes due to poorly maintained roads, inconsistent vehicle maintenance, and the propensity of overworked bus drivers to speed. In 2011, 1,124 people were killed and 2,583 injured in 1,108 highway accidents, according to the latest official figures. Authorities blamed the region's treacherous, winding roads, the poor condition of the vehicle, and driver error for the accident. Road accidents are common in the Peruvian Andes due to poorly maintained roads, inconsistent vehicle maintenance, and the propensity of overworked bus drivers to speed. In 2011, 1,124 people were killed and 2,583 injured in 1,108 highway accidents, according to the latest official figures. –AGENCIES
AMM AN: Syrian government forces and aircraft attacked rebel strongholds across the country on Sunday, killing at least 23 people, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime airstrikes targeted rebel-held areas in the predominantly Kurdish village of Hadad in the northeastern province of Hassaka. It said at least 16 people, including two women and three children, were killed. The activist reported plumes of black smoke rising over the town and continuous army fire from ground and air attacks. He spoke on condition that he be identified only by his nickname Abu Qasem — by which he is widely known among his comrades — because he feared retaliation on his family. Also in the north, the state SANA news agency said three journalists working for state TV in Aleppo province were wounded in a car bombing. Correspondent Shadi Helweh and two cameramen, Yehia Mosseli and Ahmed Suleiman, were hospitalized with shrapnel wounds, the agency said. They were covering Syrian soldiers who were trying to stop two suicide attackers attempting to detonate a car bomb near a security headquarters in the province. SANA said the two attackers were killed, and the journalists and several other civilians were wounded. Also on Sunday, a rebel and a civilian were killed in airstrikes and fighting in the suburbs of Damascus, the Observatory said. It also said that four civilians died after being tortured in a jail in the
town of Zakyeh, without providing further details. And the Observatory said the Syrian army shot and killed a man in the southern city of Daraa. State TV said military forces conducted operations around Damascus and in the provinces of Hassaka, Daraa, and Idlib and Aleppo. SANA said the army seized a truck carrying rocket launchers on a highway linking Damascus with the central province of Homs. Meanwhile, Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the meddlesome measures adopted by foreign countries in Syria only serve the “political goals” of the Israeli regime. In a Sunday’s meeting with the speaker of Oman’s Advisory Council, Khaled bin Hilal bin Nasser al-Mawali, in Tehran, Salehi stressed Iran’s belief that there is no military solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria. –AGENCIES
Syria slams talks of C-arms’ traces in its soil DAMASCUS: Syrian information minister on Sunday dismissed as "illegal" a recent Western report, which cited a smuggled-out soil sample from Syria as proving the use of chemical weapons. "Any testing process to the Syrian soil, which is not performed by official and international organizations with the consent of the Syrian government, is stripped off any political and legal value," Omran al-Zoubi said, adding that the report is "mere forgery against Syria." –AGENCIES
Palestinians refuse US idea to revive talks through economy RAMALL AH: A Palestinian negotiator on Sunday refused Washington's idea of reviving the peace talks with Israel based on a plan to stimulate the West Bank's economy. "There is no economic peace," said the negotiator, Saeb Erekat. The Maariv Hebrew daily reported that Kerry informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Washington's vision, saying that an improvement in the economy would create an atmosphere helpful on the political level. "This is impossible because the question is purely political and the economy is only part of the economy," Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio. The Palestinians have said that Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, Israel's control of exports and imports and on different occasions withholding Palestinian tax revenues all prevent the economy from making progress. –AGENCIES
US arming CIA database called al-Qaeda against Syria Al-Qaeda, the CIA Database, kills Muslims by the tens of thousands and destabilises their governments. But above all, it is a psychological warfare operation, aimed at driving a wedge between Muslims and Westerners, and setting them at war with each other. It also aims to drive a wedge between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims, opening the door for increased US-Israeli penetration into the Middle East DR. KEVIN BARRETT
he al-Nusra front in Syria has officially announced that it is part of al-Qaeda. Even before the announcement, everyone knew it was al-Qaeda. So why is it being armed to the teeth with US-supplied weapons, and given training and strategic and diplomatic support by the US government? The US, after all, is officially at war with al-Qaeda, which the American government blames for the still-unsolved crimes of 11 September 2001. The US says al-Qaeda poses such an extraordinary threat that the Constitution must be suspended, the Bill of Rights set aside, and the President given emergency powers to kill or kidnap anyone on earth without due process of law. This is a very odd claim, since there is no evidence that alQaeda poses any real danger to Americans. Even if 9/11 were an actual al-Qaeda attack, and the 19 utterly incompetent pseudo-Muslim playboys
blamed for it somehow beat billion-toone odds and actually pulled it off, terrorism of all kinds would still not pose any statistically significant threat to Americans, who would be more likely to die from lightning strikes and bathtub drownings. Since 9/11, we have learned about the real capabilities of al-Qaeda. The mentally-challenged shoe bomber Richard Reid, and the equally-inept underwear bomber Abdul Mutallab, were apparently both too stupid to know that C-4 type explosives cannot possibly explode without a detonator. By trying to light C-4 with a match, and failing to even start a small fire with which to burn their own appendages, these imbeciles made al-Qaeda the laughingstock of the world. Why does al-Qaeda hardly ever even try to attack the US - and when it does, the “attacks” are so laughable? Why does al-Qaeda never, ever attack Israel? Why does al-Qaeda instead attack Muslims, and kill them by the tens of thousands? If we could answer those questions, we
might be better able to understand why al-Qaeda is receiving such massive US support for its depredations in Syria. Al-Qaeda claims it wants to drive the US and the Zionists out of the Muslim lands. It claims it wants to unite the world's Muslims into a single caliphate. Polls show that a strong majority of the world's Muslims support these objectives - but they do not support al-Qaeda. Why do most Muslims support al-Qaeda's stated objectives, yet despise al-Qaeda itself? The answer: Muslims are horrified by al-Qaeda's terrorist tactics. Polls show that Muslims, more than any other group on earth, reject terrorism. Fewer than 10% of Muslims worldwide believe that attacks on civilians may be justified by political ends. Americans - unlike Muslims - do support terrorism. According to a Gallup poll, more than half of nonMuslim Americans believe it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians. And nearly three-quarters of Americans support drone strikes,
which primarily kill innocent civilians. It seems that the so-called “war on terror” is actually a war OF terror. Americans have been brainwashed into supporting their own government's terrorist war on the world. So how does al-Qaeda fit into this picture? “Al-Qaeda” means “The Database” - a CIA database of mujahideen fighters, mercenaries, and drug smugglers. “The Database” was created by the CIA and its Saudi and Pakistani proxies to fight the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980s. After the Russian defeat, The Database was re-deployed to smuggle drugs and harass the Russian empire in places like Chechnya and the Balkans. (I will henceforth translate “al-Qaeda” into English as “The CIA Database”). On 11 September 2001, The CIA Database supposedly attacked America. Suddenly, The CIA Database was a convenient excuse for shredding the Constitution, doubling the military budget, and launching wars of aggression against Israel's enemies. In the final essay collected in Benjamin
Netanyahu's How the West Can Win a manifesto foreshadowing the “war on terror” and laying bare its strategies Lewis argued that the West needed to create the modern equivalent of the Ismaili Assassins in order to destabilise the Muslim Middle East and open it to conquest by the new, Zionist Crusade. The West quickly followed Lewis's advice. It created a modern version of the Ismaili Assassins: The CIA Database, better known by its Arabic name “al-Qaeda”. The CIA Database not only kills Muslims by the tens of thousands and destabilises their governments. It also provides Americans with a hated enemy, and justifies unlimited US “interventions” (more properly termed “wars of aggression”) anywhere on the planet. Perhaps most importantly, alQaeda operates as a tool of psychological warfare against Muslims. By identifying legitimate Muslim antiimperialism with a brand name that is hated by 80% of Muslims and 99% of non-Muslims, it undercuts that anti-
imperialism, and saps Muslims' desire to struggle for their independence. All communications experts know that the best way to stop an idea from spreading is to put that idea in the mouth of an unattractive spokesperson. By identifying Islamic unity, antiimperialism, and anti-Zionism with terrorism, strategic ineptitude, murderous sectarianism, and obscurantism, the CIA Database's brand-name “al-Qaeda” has been used to “skunk” the whole Islamic awakening, and hinder the liberation of Muslim countries from Western and Zionist domination. That is why The CIA Database in Syria is being armed and trained by who else - the CIA... and its assets among the US-occupied Muslimmajority countries of the Middle East. Bernard Lewis is undoubtedly amused by the fact that so many self-styled jihadis are actually working for The CIA Database, fighting against the very cause they think they are supporting. (PressTV.ir)
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Why capitalism won’t Change North Korea’s regime O an outside observer, the behavior of the North Korean leadership often appears short- sighted and irrational. There seems to be a tested and easy way out of their predicament -- the path of Chinesestyle economic reforms. While such gradual capitalist reforms might be good for the country, however, they would be far too dangerous for the current North Korean elite. As a consequence, they’re unlikely to be implemented anytime soon. The history of East Asia after World War II has been, above all, one of spectacular economic growth. From 1960 to 2000, average per-capita gross-domesticproduct growth in East Asia reached 4.6 percent, while the same indicator for the world was 2.8 percent. In 1960, in terms of percapita GDP, South Korea ranked slightly below Somalia, while Taiwan lagged behind Senegal. The remarkable economic transformation of those two Asian economies was overseen by governments that were decisively illiberal and undemocratic. These regimes are often described as “developmental dictatorships” -largely because they combined authoritarian politics with an obsessive focus on economic growth. The military regime in South Korea, and a hereditary dictatorship in Taiwan, spouted anti-Communist rhetoric and paid lip service to the principles of the
After the mid-1980s, this “first generation” of developmental dictatorships was emulated by Communist regimes in mainland China and Vietnam. In both countries, the party elite kept up the old slogans and quasi-Leninist decorum for the sake of domestic stability but for all practical purposes switched to the growth strategies pioneered by Taiwan and South Korea. If anything, their version of capitalism was even more unabashed and brutal -- the regimes in Beijing and Hanoi treated workers with greater harshness and demonstrated even greater indifference to the yawning gap between rich and poor. Regardless, the model worked again: The “second generation” of developmental dictatorships also achieved spectacular results. Vietnam, which experienced a famine in the mid-1980s, had by the mid-1990s become the world’s third-largest exporter of rice. A similar course has failed to inspire the North Korean elite. And unfortunately for common citizens, this unwillingness to emulate China is neither irrational, nor ideological.
macro-micro gaps in policy-making and its implementation. They can take the lead in generating awareness and anchor the dialogue by providing appropriate platforms. Creation of any new or restructuring of old institutional and legal systems is not required for empowering private stakeholders to deliver their respective roles in this participatory approach. Article 3 (Objectives and Principles) and Article 10 (Institutional Arrangements) of Agreement on South Asian Free Trade have adequate provisions for creating such a participatory system. According to these provisions, businesses from South-Asian countries can access the NTB resolution authority under the SouthAsian Free Trade Area through their membership in the national-level business and trade associations; some of them are also members of the regional apex body, Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This proposed approach should include raising awareness on the harmful effects of NTBs on intra-regional trade, the urgency of addressing them, as well as the potential role businesses and other stakeholders can and should play. Some recent initiatives to promote the involvement of private sector and other stakeholders in trade liberalisation should be reviewed. Civil society should grab opportunities offered by improved commercial relations between the two neighbours.
HE Kremlin’s initial outrage over developments in Cyprus – and the island’s shocking expropriation of billions of dollars held by Russian companies and citizens – has given way to mild indifference. “If somebody gets caught and loses money at the two largest [Cypriot] banks, it’s William E. Pomeranz a shame,” First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov recently stated, “but the Russian government isn’t going to do anything about it.” It turns out that the European Union settlement that left Cyprus’s banking sector in shambles has done Moscow a big favor. Not only did the EU take down a major offshore banking center, it helped President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to return to Russia any money stashed away in offshore bank accounts. This seemingly technical financial issue also reveals a potential sea change in the rules of the game for Russian business.Instead of seeking shelter abroad, Russian companies and financiers may finally have a stake in fighting to protect their money at home Putin had first talked about his policy of “de-offshorization” in a December 2012 state-of-the-nation speech. He criticized the lack of transparency of offshore tax havens and complained that Russian companies were escaping domestic law by selecting foreign jurisdictions to settle commercial disputes. Within two months, Putin proposed a ban on government officials from holding overseas bank accounts and owning foreign-issued stocks or bonds. This draft legislation was followed by an April 2 decree requiring that government employees submit reports on income and expenditures to the presidential administration by the beginning of July ‑ including all information regarding foreign bank accounts, securities and property. The Russian media immediately speculated that several government officials would resign before this July deadline. Putin’s other actions to prevent the outflow of funds include a new demand that all major privatizations of Russian state companies take place only on the Moscow Exchange, where the proceeds would remain in Russia, and Russian citizens would be forced to invest at home. A Russian commercial court also recently issued a far-reaching decision requiring offshore companies to reveal corporate information if subject to Russian law and litigation ‑ something most offshore entities seek to avoid. Meanwhile, the prosecutor’s office has been busy signing agreements with several prominent offshore zones ‑ including Luxembourg, Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic ‑ to ensure enhanced cooperation and the exchange of information. Putin has also given the presidential administration and his longtime ally, Sergei Ivanov, the authority to review all declarations of foreign assets. This gives the executive branch access to – and significant discretion over – financial data related to the use of offshore accounts by Russian government officials. Any aggressive public scrutiny of offshore holdings could undoubtedly cause great anxiety among the Russian elite. A recent report revealed the names of several prominent Russians, including the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, as owners of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands.. Putin’s call for de-offshorization is reviving a 20-year debate about property rights in Russia. As Andrei Babitskii, the editor of Esquire Russia, recently commented in the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, private individuals have a choice: They can fight for the establishment of the “rules of the game” in their own house or they can change their place of residence. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian oligarchs and companies have seemed content to rely on offshore tax havens to protect their wealth ‑ as opposed to advocating for a similar sense of security in Russia. Putin’s campaign against offshore zones and his effort to have money returned could bring about a major change in the way Russians conduct business. The nation’s leading business representatives may soon learn that the struggle to defend property rights often means a more zealous defense of one’s civil rights as well.
– COURTESY THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
– COURTESY REUTERS
largest per-capita income difference between two countries that share a land border. To put things in perspective, the income ratio in divided Germany was merely 3-to1, and even this was enough to prompt the East Germans to overthrow the regime as soon as they had an opportunity to do so without fear of Soviet retribution.
“free world,” while pushing a market-driven but governmentcontrolled development strategy. Lacking natural resources, they emphasized cheap labor and economic efficiency, and they were successful beyond anybody’s wildest expectations.
Andrei Lankov On the contrary, North Korea’s leaders are rational to the extreme, being perhaps the most perfect bunch of Machiavellians currently in power anywhere. They do not want to pursue reforms because they realize that in the specific conditions produced by the division of their country, such reforms constitute the surest way of political (and, perhaps, physical) suicide. The existence of a rich and free South Korea makes North Korea’s situation vastly different from that of China or Vietnam. The regime lives next to a country whose people speak the same language and are officially described as “members of our nation,” but who enjoy a percapita income at least 15 times (some claim 40 times) higher than that of North Koreans. Even if the lowest estimate is taken, it would still represent by far the world’s
Russia after Cyprus: Bringing the money home
It is doubtful the North Korean population would be prepared to endure a further decade of destitution followed by a couple of decades of relative poverty and backbreaking work after they learned about another Korea -affluent, free, glamorous and attractive. Would they tolerate a reforming, but still authoritarian and repressive regime on the assumption that this regime will on some distant day deliver a prosperity comparable to that of their Southern brothers and sisters? North Koreans are much more likely to toss out their current rulers and seek to reunify the peninsula in order to partake in the South’s fabulous prosperity. It is an open secret that many Chinese party officials have used their country’s reforms to enrich themselves: The new Chinese entrepreneurial class, to a significant extent, consists of former officials, as well as their relations and buddies. However, the situation of the North Korean elites is different. They stand little chance
of becoming successful capitalists if the system is overthrown. In all probability, the important positions in any new economy would be taken by people from South Korea - executives and entrepreneurs with capital, education, experience and perhaps political support. A few years ago, a high-level North Korean bureaucrat told a top Western diplomat: “Human rights and the like might be a great idea, but if we start explaining it to our people, we will be killed in no time.” Perhaps one of the reasons behind the remarkable resilience of the North Korean regime is this universal assumption of its bureaucrats (including those who are quite low in the pecking order) that they would have no future in case of regime collapse. This makes North Korea different from many other dictatorships. A clerk in Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, for instance, could assume that, democrats or not, Islamists or not, under a new regime he would still sit at his desk and continue the old routine of, say, issuing permits for house construction. Ditto a high-ranking military officer, who also would expect that under a new government in Cairo he would still command his battalion. Consequently, they did not see the revolution as a personal threat, and might have even been supportive of the movement.
Indo-Pak trade needs a push
While the two governments have pared trade walls, non-tariff barriers require civil society intervention
PRADEEP S. MEHTA AND ABID SULERI
NSTEAD of waiting, non-state actors should reinforce governmental efforts with their own and take advantage of opportunities of improved commercial relations. The last two years have witnessed a number of promising developments on commercial relations between India and Pakistan. And they have to be nurtured, as against just crying over Pakistan’s decision to postpone the grant of the most-favourednation (MFN) status to trade with India. Recent developments show that Pakistan has provided de facto MFN status to India. The Indian establishment should look at it as a deferred success of its diplomatic efforts. From a narrow base of a positive list, Pakistan has decided to apply a broader negative-list approach. As against the earlier approach of allowing trade in just about 1,800 tariff lines, this base has increased to all product lines except about 1,200. In other words, earlier just over 20 per cent tariff lines (products) were allowed for trade between India and Pakistan. Now, about 15 per cent are barred from being traded — opening up a new opportunity of trade in almost 65 per cent of the tariff lines. This was followed by a decision taken on the side of the trade ministers’ meeting on South Asian Free Trade Agreement held in Islamabad in early 2012. Delegations led by respective commerce ministers paid mutual visits and declared a
series of revitalising steps, liberal businessvisa regime being the most notable one. Traders benefited from the commencement of an Integrated Check Post at the WagahAttari border. However, there is fear that the momentum generated in the preceding years is running out of steam, as implementation of some of the decisions is taking longer than expected. Efforts at the governmental level are covering short-term shocks that may arise out of easing of trade restrictions. At this juncture, what is to be pondered over is how stakeholders other than governments can contribute to the latter’s initiatives on normalising our trade relations. While tariffs are coming down, numerous non-tariff trade barriers (NTBs), particularly procedural ones, are hindering our trade. Removal of such barriers is now the key to fostering Indo-Pak trade, but what is lacking is a formal institutional mechanism to do so. This gap can be plugged by involvement of civil society. An initiative, supported by The Asia Foundation and in which CUTS International of India and Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan are joint participants, has recently made inquiries into the extent of NTBs affecting intra-regional trade in South Asia. It was observed that costs amounting to 34.81 per cent of the value of total intraregional trade can be saved if South Asian countries undertake minimal reforms to
harmonise, regulate and remove NTBs. Our work has estimated that in the case of IndoPak trade, NTBs are much above the South-Asian average and accounts for about 43 per cent of the value of total aggregate bilateral trade. This calls for a new tack. The current approach to trade reforms suffers from a number of problems such as unclear definition of NTBs, fragmented policy responses towards NTBs, difficulties in quantifying costs and benefits of reforms, and subsequent problems related to incentives and enforcements. Hence, disciplining NTBs remains sub-optimal. Excluding relevant stakeholders in the process of reforming NTBs is a major limitation. Many important NTBs even fail to get discussed, as the directly affected trading community has limited access to the official channels. Greater involvement of the private sector in the formal system of reforming NTBs would strengthen the official initiatives. Businesses possess first-hand information on trade costs and potential alternatives to costly and ineffective trade regulations. Direct inputs from them will make the reform process more informed and focused. Civil-society organisations should act as a catalyst for dialogues among these stakeholders. They are in a position to understand and analyse socio-economic implications of enhanced bilateral economic integration, particularly at the local level, and, thus, can potentially bridge
Prospects for economic integration in Indo-Pacific region
Press Release-Speech by Asanga Abeyagoonaskera, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKIIRSS) at the Annual Asian Relations Conference organised by the Indian Council for World Affairs, New Delhi
Asanga Abeyagoonaskera HEN I arrived in Delhi the headline on the Indian newspaper was “will Ceylon be a Cyclone for India”, been the only Sri Lankan at this conference I can assure you my country will always have a promising and a calm wind blown towards India, we wish the same from India. Only time it became a cyclone was when a Indian princess was stolen by a Sri Lankan. I quote our founder of the Institute, Lakshman Kadirgamar “India and Sri Lanka is lost in the mist of time” our culture and history is so much connected and both nations will need each other. Let me begin by sharing some thoughts about developments in South (China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa etc) from the Human Development Report 2013 released a few days ago. The compass is pointing to the Global South, never in the human
history that so many lives have been improved, we are talking in billions. If you take the Industrial revolution Great Britain took 150 years to double its per capita and US took 50 years and in both countries only had a population of 10m at that time. Today we have managed to double the per capita in 20 years in the South. This has contributed to improve many lives more than 2 billion people is on this equation of growth. We have a tale of two worlds one a resurgent South and the other the North in crisis and unemployment. Since the Asian century has a lot to do with the rapid economic growth in the Asian region, particularly that of India and China, one may assume that the most prominent aspect or the driver of the Indo-Pacific would be economics – economic relations between countries. Indo-Pacific: Possibilities Advocated by the Americans, Australians and the Indians, this new terminology insinuates several new possibilities and trajectories that the process of indo-pacific integration could emulate. 1. Depicted as an element of the US’ pivot to Asia, the ‘Indo-Pacific’ could demand new commitments from the new rising powers in Asia in terms of sharing US’ burden in Asia (disseminate and strengthen liberal democracy, human rights and free trade and share defence and military expenditure) 4. 2. Affected by the Chinese military
might and the rivalling political and strategic issues with China in terms of the territorial boundaries and access to sea lanes, aspirant regional powers would want to get together to contain China. 3. Endorsing the very meaning of the term, it would be an inclusive and plural space where everyone can act to maximise their interests and utility through constructive engagement. As we know there are several contagious issues in the in the Asian region like the case of South China Sea which have the potential to flare up and de-stabilize the entire region. In this context, as the liberal trade theory might posit, regional integration is better go with the economic integration which would maximize common interests and seek to achieve a shared utility. What are the prospects for economic integration in the Indo-Pacific? Is there any space for a new institutional set-up? Or would it be a form of interregionalism with an umbrella organization housing parallel interests and agendas? Let’s look at various initiatives taken towards achieving economic integration in a regional set- up similar to the Indo-Pacific. With the objective of facilitating closer economic ties, a step towards such an inclusive arrangement was made in 2007 when Japan suggested establishing a Comprehensive
Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA), in order to deepen economic integration, narrow down development gaps, and achieve sustainable development. • What would be the economic consequences of Indo-Pacific on small states in South Asia? • How could they be supported and what can the new regional set-up do to mitigate their costs? By making an analysis of Sri LankaIndia economic behaviour, the paper attempts to examine the nature of impact a closer integration of the Indian market with the East Asia would have on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s is a small open economy of almost US $ 60 billion in terms of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) at market prices. When compared with other countries in South Asia, it is the fourth largest economy. Like most of the other South Asian countries, Sri Lanka is also a lower middle income country with per capita GDP of US $ 2, 836. When Sri Lanka’s strategic advantage à propos its exports lies in the western market, how economically sensible is it to take a shift towards the East? What is the way forward for Sri Lanka and India? 01. Make a critical evaluation of its geo-political location, how it can be used constructively Proximity to the Indian subcontinent as well as its location on strategic EastWest Sea Lanes of Communications
(SLOCS) is the biggest advantage to Sri Lankan in Indo-Pacific region. 02. Integrate more with India Integrating more with the Indian supply chains is the best method that Sri Lanka could integrate with the global economy. The fact that India is an indispensable partner to Sri Lanka’s growth is further substantiated by the degree in which Sri Lankan economy depends on India. 03. Look at positives and look outward i. Expanding and diversifying the export basket ii. Establish a nexus between the policy makers and business community 04. Look inward Looking inward and filling the gaps in education, technology and public health is very important in assuring that the population would not be disempowered in the face of external competition, that they are competent enough and the economic development would be sustainable. Although Sri Lanka boasts of high ranking in the Human Development Index with respect to literacy, Sri Lankan population appears to be fallen short of relevant skills to the upcoming markets such as IT and BPO. Sri Lanka is located at the 21 place and IT/BPO sector is the 5th largest export revenue earner in 2010 even after entering the market late. This sector also holds significant opportunities for future from the emerging markets such as IT sector in
the Middle East. Prospective economic integration in the Indo-Pacific region, be it India going to the East in the form of an ASEAN related regime or a convergence of interests in an interregional platform or a brand new institutional mechanism will become a reality in the future. In conclusion, one may argue that India would be economically better off without its smaller neighbours. However, historical and cultural relations with India as well as other cross border spillovers (security and non security threats) inhibit India from taking off alone. Like I have said at the World Economic Forum in India last November pain of one nation is pain of another as we are interconnected, we should assist India to be a regional power and the surrounding countries should help India to achieve this, it’s also important that India play an active role and recognize problems of its surrounding nations. Let me end with a quotation by Mahatma Gandhi “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” Thank you. – COURTESY LANKA WEB
CMYK MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Selena, Vanessa invited to Playboy party
Aditya Roy plays Amitabh Bachchan in Aashiqui 2
LONDON: Former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have been invited to party at the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner. Gomez and Hudgens have shed their good girl images for new movie Spring Breakers about a raunchy group of college students and bosses at Playboy were so impressed, they have issued an open invitation for the duo to party at the Playboy Mansion. A tweet from Playboy said, "Vanessa Hudgens & Selena Gomez now have an open invitation to the next Mansion party." Hudgens previously admitted she jumped at the chance to take on the role of college student Candy, who is forced into working for a drug dealer after he bails her out of jail for robbing a restaurant. "I'm really proud of the movie. I feel like it's a breed of its own, it's a movie unlike any other and it's very fresh and fun and exciting. I feel like it's a great take on our youth culture right now. -SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: Aditya Roy Kapur who proved his acting capabilities in films such as 'Action Replay' and 'Guzaarish', Comes as a Solo-Lead in Mahesh Bhatt's upcoming film Aashiqui 2. The film is no way a sequel to the 90's cult hit 'Aashiqui', But it's just the name franchise that has been carried forward. Recently, The film's Trailer was released on Social Networking sites and YouTube. Going by the Trailer of Aashiqui 2, It will definitely remind you of Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan starrer 1973 Hit 'Abhimaan' which was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The Trailer of Aashiqui 2 tells the story of Rahul Jaykar (Aditya Roy Kapur) who is a singing sensation and falls in love with a simple looking girl Arohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor) who is also a good singer. Rahul intends to make Arohi a singing star, Their love and ego is questioned when Arohi becomes a bigger name in Music-Industry. -SHOWBIZ DESK
PNCA, SZABIST join up to revive film industry
SHOWBIZ DESK ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) have joined hands to work for the revival of Pakistan’s sagging film industry by producing short films. PNCA has involved the young and creative students of SZABIST’s Media and Communication Studies department by asking them to produce and present threeminute video films on a variety of topics. This initiative will give the youngsters an opportunity to utilise their imaginative, creative and artistic skills to emerge as
potential filmmakers of the future. Under the mutual understanding, the short films produced by university students will be judged by senior artists, filmmakers, producers and directors to pick the winners on the basis of their exceptional work, which is going to be relayed on different channels including ARY Music, ARY News, HBO and City FM 89. The winners will be awarded prizes such as MacBook, iPhone 4S and professional cameras. The themes given to the students to produce the short films on are tolerance, religious harmony & respect, cultural face of Pakistan and unity & diversity. SZABIST and PNCA believe that these themes for filmmaking will help portray a positive image of Pakistan, which has been tarnished in the wake of prevailing terrorism, extremism and sectarianism. Both organisations believe that young, passionate and talented filmmakers are needed to inject some fresh blood into the film industry. This week, noted artist and director Hamza Ali Abbasi along with his team held a workshop at SZABIST on behalf of PNCA to give the students an orientation and necessary guidance on the films that they are required to produce. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Matt Damon and wife Luciana renew wedding vows
LOS ANGELES: Matt Damon and his wife Luciana renewed their wedding vows after nearly eight years of marriage, in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The couple exchanged vows in the presence of their guests, including their four daughters, actor Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, as well as Michael Douglas and Catherine ZetaJones, People magazine reported. According to the publication, Damon, 42, spent nearly 1 million dollars to rent out the entire Sugar Beach resort in order to accommodate his family and guests for the lavish festivities. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Psy's 'Gentleman' video reaches 10 million YouTube hits SHOWBIZ DESK
hours after its debut at a packed concert in the South Korean capital as curious fans flocked to the videosharing site. It shows Psy, wearing his signature sunglasses, dancing at various locations in and around Seoul including a high-end clothing store, restaurant and swimming pool. The story line features the singer teasing and playing practical jokes on women, such as pulling their chairs away as they are about to sit, before meeting his match. It was the video of "Gangnam Style", and in particular Psy's signature horse-riding dance, that pushed him to global stardom last year after it was posted on YouTube and turned into a viral sensation.
SEOUL: Gangnam Style" star Psy's new music video had been watched more than 10 million times on YouTube less than 24 hours after he unveiled his much-anticipated new dance in Seoul, the website showed on Sunday. The South Korean pop star on Saturday performed for the first time the new hip-swinging dance aimed at replicating the global success of "Gangnam Style" and its famed horse-riding moves in his latest single called "Gentleman". The video, released a day after the song hit online stores worldwide, registered 10.7 million hits in the 15
Blu Ivy loves music: Beyonce SHOWBIZ DESK
LONDON: R&B star Beyonce's 15-monthold daughter Blue Ivy has already started loving music. Beyonce says her daughter has developed a knack for salsa music,
which the 31-year-old singing sensation thinks stems from her womb while she accompanied her husband Jay-Z on their tours, Contactmusic reports. "Right now, she just likes tempo. She likes salsa anything with a beat. Which makes sense because I was on tour when I was pregnant, and then I went on her dad's tour and the 808 was probably shaking the womb," she said. The 'Run The World (Girls)' hitmaker recently celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary with husband and daughter at a romantic trip to Havana, Cuba. She also made a feature-length documentary, 'Life Is But a Dream', which focuses on her marriage and motherhood.
Sonam has no love life NEW DELHI: There is no time for love in actor Sonam Kapoor’s life, all thanks to her hectic professional life. “I have no social life. I have no love life. I only have a professional life. I am absolutely single because I don’t have time to date,” she tells us. How come a pretty woman like her is still single, we ask. The 27-year-old is quick to reason, “the pretty ones are always single (laughs).” After a break of a year-and-a-half from work, Sonam now has four films, Raanjhnaa, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Yash Raj Films’ (YRF) untitled project and a remake of Khubsoorat (1980), lined up back to back. “I took a break to sign the right films. And now, I am so busy that I’m getting a lot of grief from my family and friends who say I don’t spend enough time with them,” she says.The style diva also reveals that even when she does get free time, she socialises only in a closed circle.“Jacqueline, Asin and Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) are my three friends. I don’t have too many friends from the industry. Among the guys, Imran Khan is a really good friend,” she says. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Pierce Brosnan backs Colin Salmon to be ﬁrst black 007 LONDON: Pierce Brosnan, who played the secret agent in four 007 films, has backed Colin Salmon to play the first black James Bond. The 59year-old actor insisted that there was no rush to replace Daniel Craig, who according to him was “doing superbly well. Brosnan told Sky News that Salmon is someone he has worked with closely over the years and he thinks that the 50year-old actor is the ideal replacement when Craig leaves. “He would be outstanding and I think it would be absolutely essential,” Brosnan said. -SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: Raveena Tandon looks ravishing in a black anarkali dress at Baisakhi celebrations.
Feel like a princess on the ramp: Juhi SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla says every time she dresses up and walks the ramp, she feels like a princess. "I love to dress up and walk the ramp. It takes me to a different world. It makes me feel like a princess," said Chawla, who graced the runway at the final day of India International Jewellery Week for Kay Jewels. Dressed in a maroon red Bhairavi Jaikishan lehenga set, Chawla, 45, sashayed down the runway bejewelled in a beautiful polka set. The collection called 'Alaukik', which was inspired by the source of all creation, linked jewellery with nature. The line had natural elements like flowing ornate beads and peacock feathers designs. "This is the second time I am walking for Kay Jewels and I must say I love the experience. If I could, I would take away all the ornaments that I am wearing right now with me. They are so beautiful but very expensive even for me," Chawla said. Yesteryear Bollywood diva Zeenat Aman also made her presence felt on the runway as she walked for RK Jewellers' 'Zistatva' range. The company also presented
another collection by Prakshi Sharma, who unveiled her western line of floral motif inspired creations. The 61-year-old actress wore a red sharara styled jumpsuit paired with a black embroidered velvet jacket, which she teamed up with a Raani Haar with encrusted dual pendants, shoulder dusters, bangles and a statement ring. "I love jewellery, be it old designs or modern. I feel a piece of jewellery can do wonders to your over all look," said Zeenat.
Like Ranbir, I also had many girlfriends and link-ups: Rishi SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Many people don’t know what to do when life changes around them. They worry and flounder. Not Rishi Kapoor. Even as his son Ranbir climbs up the stardom ladder, Rishi, the one-time romantic hero, is creating an acting career for himself all over again — and in a completely new way. “I was happily oriented to change, but at my own pace and time,” says the actor in an interview with The Times og India.. In the ’70s, when action ruled Hindi movies and Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna were the stars, Rishi arrived on the scene with a romantic movie, Bobby (1973). “It wasn’t easy to be pitted against Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna. But I did it and enjoyed that phase, especially the first 25 years of my stay at the top,” says the actor who was the romantic lead in almost 100 films. Between 2000 and 2011, he played some forgettable character roles in a few films. But with his more recent performances in Do Dooni Chaar (2010) and Agneepath (2012), it became clear that Rishi was back with a vengeance. Filmmakers are even writing roles for him. Now, with a spate of big movies under production (Mehrunnisa, two Yash Raj Films projects and another with Paresh Rawal) and about six releases coming up this year (including Kanchi, DDay, Aurangzeb and Besharam), there is no doubt at all about Rishi Kapoor’s place in
the film industry. You’ve reinvented yourself as an actor. I guess so. In the first 25 years of my career I sang songs, wore jerseys and romanced heroines in the valleys. And as was predictable in Hindi films, I got slotted into the quintessential chocolate boy image. But I am the same actor with the same expertise. I was always capable of doing it; it’s only that the opportunities to explore myself fully are coming to me now. So yes, there’s a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment. How does it feel to be Ranbir Kapoor’s father? Neetu complains that I’ve no good words
for Ranbir and he tells his producers and directors that his dad never says anything about his work. But let me confess today that my chest swells when someone comes up to me and praises Ranbir. I don’t praise him to his face because he’s too young for such compliments. What were you like in your heyday as compared to Ranbir? Success hit my head and I went crazy. And till I hit bad times, I didn’t realise what was happening. But when I look at Ranbir, I am amazed at the way he has handled his success. His discipline, modesty and downto-earth designs are very impressive. He has got these values from his mother. I had once told him to not let success go to his head and not let failure go to his heart. He has kept that in mind. Why did it take you so long to return? Cinema is celebrating character actors like never before. Films are being written for them. Look at Do Dooni Chaar. Neetu and I were playing the leads! Filmmakers’ sensibilities are getting real and the booming multiplex culture an indication that the intelligentsia wants better stuff. It’s a healthy and welcome sign for actors of my age. Earlier, character roles were usually limited to playing a father and I did a few of those, but with a lot of discomfort. But I realised that I was wasting my time. I am not a flash in the pan. I am too expensive to be wasted like this. So I put my foot down
and told everyone not to waste my time. I also know that at my age I cannot bring audiences to the theatres. That’s for the young actors to do. But I am confident of hooking them once they are in. The point is, if I take up something, I need to add value to it. How much say do you have in Ranbir’s career? All his creative decisions, success and failures are his own. I have no say. He chooses his films. The only film that I know he is working on currently is Besharam and that’s because I am also in the film with him. Have you and Neetu met Ranbir’s girlfriends? We actually don’t meet in that way. I read about his relationships the same way that you read about them. He never discusses his love life with me. He talks to his mother. Ranbir and I don’t share a buddy-buddy relationship. How do you see Ranbir’s various link-ups? Ab nahin karega toh kab karega? (If not now, then when?) Like him, I also had many girlfriends and link-ups before I married Neetu. He is a successful, goodlooking, disciplined young man and this is the age he should be meeting all kinds of people. Only then will he be able to make up his mind.
CMYK MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013
Gebrselassie makes it three in Vienna VIENNA: Ethiopian distance star Haile Gebrselassie won his third consecutive Vienna half marathon on Sunday, timing one hour one minute and 14 seconds. Gebrselassie, a double Olympic 10,000 metres champion who turns 40 next week, took control of the race at the midway point. In March, Gebrselassie stated he was still in love with running and had no intention of retiring. "As long as I enjoy it so much I will keep running and I don't know how and when this will finish," he said. He is scheduled to take part in a 10km race in Bern before defending his Great Manchester Run title on May 26. His Vienna performance was outside his two previous winning times in 2011 and 2012. –AGENCIES
Japan star Asada set retire after Sochi TOKYO: Japanese figure skating star Mao Asada, the 2008 and 2010 world champion, said Sunday she would retire from competition after next year's Sochi Winter Olympics. "At the moment, that is what I intend to do," Asada, the runner-up to South Korea's Kim Yu-Na in their Olympic debut at the 2010 Vancouver Games, told reporters when asked about her possible retirement after Sochi. "I began to think about it little by little at the start of this year," the 22year-old said as she prepared for an exhibition after the season-closing World Team Trophy competition in Tokyo. "It is not because of my physical strength but I have considered many things." Asada finished a disappointing fifth in the women's singles at the team event. "I want to do my last and my best skating on the big stage in Sochi. I have less than a year to go and I think I can use such a short period of time to get ready and give all I have for the last time," she said. "I have been focused only on skating up to now and I will have to think of what I should do afterwards." Asada's arch rival Kim, also 22, announced last year that she would retire after the Sochi Games and seek to become a member of the International Olympic Committee. –AGENCIES
Cuba’s Rigondeaux stops Donaires’ streak NEW YORK: Guillermo Rigondeaux remained undefeated by beating Nonito Donaire by a unanimous decision in their world title junior featherweight fight Saturday, handing the Filipino his first loss in 12 years. Two-time Olympic gold medal winner Rigondeaux recovered nicely from an earlier knockdown to win the 12-round bout on all three judges' scorecards, 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111. Rigondeaux retained his WBA junior featherweight crown and improved to 12-0 with eight knockouts. He also took Donaire's WBO version of the belt. The 32-yearold Rigondeaux, who defected from Cuba two years ago, went down from left in the 10th round but became the aggressor in the 12th, opening up a cut near Donaire's eye at the Radio City Music Hall venue. Donaire came into the bout riding a brilliant 30-fight win streak. The 30-year-old Donaire dropped to 31-2 with 20 knockouts. Donaire's only previous loss was March 10, 2001 in his second pro fight. Rigondeaux pushed the action for much of the fight, landing 129 of 396 total punches compared to 82 of 352 for the Filipino. –AGENCIES
Alonso imperious in Shanghai Grand Prix victory SHANGHAI: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso emerged unscathed to take victory on Sunday in a drama-packed Chinese Grand Prix, with the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton holding on for second and third. A charging Sebastian Vettel came fourth, just 0.2 seconds behind Hamilton, after adopting a different tyre strategy from most of his rivals, while his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber failed to finish on a dreadful weekend for him. Jenson Button, of McLaren, was fifth, and Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa sixth. Daniel Ricciardo, of Toro Rosso, Force India's Paul di Resta, Romain Grosjean of Lotus and Nico Hulkenberg, of Sauber, rounded out the top 10. Going into the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend, reigning three-time world champion Vettel leads the drivers' standings on 52 points, followed by Raikkonen (49), Alonso (43), Hamilton (40) and Massa (30). Alonso said that he was delighted to get his season back on track after retiring early in Malaysia last month. The two-time world champion was second, behind the rejuvenated Raikkonen, in the seasonopening race in Melbourne. "It feels good, it is a long time from my victory here eight years ago," said the Spaniard, who narrowly lost out to Vettel for the world title last season. "It was not easy to understand this race sometimes, not an easy race. The risk is there when you overtake. "This is a good reward for the team after the disappointment in Malaysia. Let's hope this is now the start of the championship and we need to keep going like that." Hamilton, whose lead from pole position lasted only into lap five, when Alonso activated his DRS on the home straight, just held off the
rampaging Vettel at the line to earn a second podium place for his new team. "I'm really happy with today's result and very happy for the team. We didn't quite have the pace of these two (Alonso and Raikkonen) but we're very pleased to get on the podium." In warm and dry conditions, and in front of a packed grandstand – not always the case at the Chinese Grand Prix – the race got off to a clean start. Hamilton streaked to the corner with Alonso, third on the grid, in hot pursuit. Raikkonen, who was starting in second, was slow out the blocks. But there was soon drama, as Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez slammed into the back of Adrian Sutil, of Force India. Flames licked from the right side of Sutil's machine as engineers battled to save his race. But both cars were out. Vettel, under the spotlight over his deteriorating relationship with Webber, started ninth on the grid in a calculated gamble with his tyres. But he was soon moving ominously up the field. Likewise Webber, who started the race from the pits after a disastrous qualifying session. That run to the front was curtailed though on lap 16 when Jean-Eric Vergne, of Toro Rosso, cut across him. Webber suffered damage to the front of his car and was called into the pits. But shortly afterwards the Australian inexplicably lost a right-rear tyre. Several cars had to swerve as the tyre rolled across the track. Webber's bad weekend was over. Raikkonen was in the thick of it, suffering slight damage when Sergio Perez, of McLaren, attempted to snuff out the Finn's overtaking manoeuvre. "What the hell's he doing?!" exclaimed the straight-talking Raikkonen over the team radio. "I was surprised there was not more damage,"
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain holds up the trophy as he celebrates on the podium after winning on Sunday. –AGENCIES
the Finn, a big favourite with the Shanghai crowd, said later. "I hit him quite hard, and was also surprised I didn't have more problems. It was a good fight for second place and quite a good result in the end." Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg, winner in Shanghai last season, was the next to retire, as Button, Alonso and Vettel all had turns in the lead. Twenty laps to go and Raikkonen and
Hamilton were also still in the hunt. Alonso surrendered his lead – nearly 20 seconds by then – to Vettel when he went in for a change of tyres. But the Spaniard snatched it back again on lap 43 of 56, darting inside the Red Bull. Alonso was in full flow now, clocking the fastest lap time of the race, as Vettel – whose tyre strategy meant a late pit stop – Raikkonen and Hamilton scrapped it out for the other two podium places. –AGENCIES
Umpire Ghauri to appeal against PCB ban
World baseball and softball merge for Olympics 2020
OUR STAFF REPORTER
TOKYO: World baseball and softball authorities announced on Sunday they would unify as part of a campaign to get both sports back at the Olympic Games in 2020. The newly created World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC) will lobby for the sports' inclusion at the International Olympic Committee's May session in St Petersburg, with the decision to be taken in Buenos Aires in September. Baseball and softball were dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Games, and are competing against climbing, karate, roller sports, squash, wakeboarding, wrestling and wushu for
LAHORE: Pakistan international umpire Nadeem Ghauri Sunday vowed to appeal against a ban imposed for spot-fixing after he was allegedly found willing to give favourable decisions in return for money. On Saturday the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) banned Ghauri for four years and first-class umpire Anis Siddiqui for three years after an Indian television sting operation in October last year exposing corruption in cricket. But Ghauri said the ban was "onesided" and vowed to appeal. "It's a one-sided decision and I am not happy with this decision. They didn't give me a chance. I think the PCB did it on some pressure. I will appeal that I should get justice," Ghauri, 50, told a news conference. The report, aired days after the World Twenty20 final in Sri Lanka, said it had "exposed" six umpires from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan who were allegedly willing to give decisions in return for money.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) immediately suspended the umpires and asked the respective boards to conduct inquiries. Bangladesh Cricket Board last month banned its umpire Nadir Shah for 10 years while the inquiry in Sri Lanka is still pending. Ghauri protested that he only found out about the ban through the media. “At the moment I have not received any documents from the PCB, I came to know through media that I am suspended for four years," said Ghauri. Ghauri had played one Test and six one-day internationals for Pakistan in 1989-90 before turning to umpiring. He officiated at five Tests, 43 one-day and four Twenty20 internationals before he
was removed from the ICC Elite panel in 2010. Ghauri questioned the ban, saying he does not come under the PCB. "I have no agreement with the PCB, I am not under PCB's code of conduct. Is it possible umpires can do it? I don't know about any other umpire but I think it's been done on the pressure of the ICC. In 2009 we received bullets. What benefit we have got? We are not hosting any matches in Pakistan," said Ghauri, referring to the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore during the second Test in which he was the television umpire. Ghauri was also wounded in the attack, which led to the suspension of international cricket in Pakistan. "I need the documentation and after that I will contact the PCB. I am not satisfied with this decision and I am waiting. After this I will send an appeal and will ask them to show me the videos, there should be no one-sided decision. "Anis's contention is also that injustice has been done to him."
International Baseball Federation president Riccardo Fraccari (L) and International Softball Federation president Don Porter (R) hold up balls from the two sports as they announced to form a joint body World Baseball Softball Confederation on Sunday. –AGENCIES
what could be one spot in 2020. "This is an historic day. We have brought a new level of worldwide unity and determination to our quest to return to the Games," said Riccardo Fraccari, president of International Baseball Federation and co-president of the WSBC. Talking to reporters in Tokyo where the agreement was signed, Fraccari said that the 65 million people currently playing baseball and softball around the world now have a single federation to rally behind. "We are on a great journey to return our global sport to the Olympic stage. We've been listening and learning from the Olympic family and the IOC to understand what it takes to be included as a sport at the Olympic Games. "We have reached a milestone in our journey to put baseball and softball back in the Olympic Games, and today I'm proud to announce that the full membership of the IBF voted to ratify the new Constitution of the World Baseball Softball Confederation," he added. Under the agreement, Don Porter, president of International Softball Federation, becomes the WSBC's other co-president. Fraccari also announced a new international baseball competition called "Premium 12" to be played among the top 12 teams in the world annually with Japan as the tournament's host. Premium 12 will not supplant the World Baseball Classic, played every four years and considered international baseball's top competition. –AGENCIES
Lin lifts sixth Asian Tour title with Wack Wack win
Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan posing with the winner's trophy on Sunday. –AGENCIES
MANILA: Lin Wen-tang scrambled from the trees on his last two holes to set up an unlikely win at the Solaire Open and claim his sixth Asian Tour title on Sunday. The overnight leader came up with two remarkable shots on the 17th and 18th to pip Thai veteran Thammanoon Sriroj, who had snatched the lead earlier in the day, and Asian Tour rookie Richard T Lee of Canada by one stroke. Thammanoon's title hopes were dented by bogeys on the 16th and 18th in a final round of one-over 73, while Lee signed off with a strong 69 for his best Asian Tour finish. Trailing Thammanoon going into the 17th, Taiwan's Lin hit his tee shot into the woods but he managed to punch the ball out and then sink his second birdie of the day. Lin's second shot on the 18th also found the trees but he somehow worked the ball onto the green from there and holed a 15-foot par putt for the win. The manner of victory revived memories of Lin's 2008 Hong Kong Open victory when he had to hit over the trees to
stay alive in a playoff with Rory McIlroy. "I felt like I was at the Hong Kong Open once again," Lin said after winning the inaugural $300,000 Asian Tour event with an overall threeunder 285 at Manila's Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. "I think lady luck was really on my side to let me win this tournament. I told myself to stay focused and not think about anything else," said the 39-year-old, who had lost his Asian Tour card last season. Five-times Asian Tour winner Thammanoon got an unlucky break on the final hole when he needed to hit his third shot onto the green from an awkward position. "I was very unlucky because I hit quite a good second shot but it landed on the edge of the slightly elevated green," said the Thai. "My legs were inside the bunker but my ball was on the edge of the green. It wasn't easy to chip it out," rued the 43-year-old. Korean Wang Jeung-hun (69) finished a stroke further back while Elmer Salvador (74) was the best placed Filipino in fifth at level-par 288. –AGENCIES
Manchester United close in on title as Sunderland ease worries English Premier League LONDON: Manchester United closed in on their 20th title when they won 2-0 at struggling Stoke City on Sunday and need only seven points from their remaining six matches to reclaim the Premier League crown. Michael Carrick toe-poked United ahead with a scrappy goal after four minutes and Robin van Persie ended his 10-match scoring drought with a 66th-minute penalty to seal the points in a game United dominated from start to finish. They now have 80 points from 32 games, 15 clear of current champions Manchester City, who have 65 with seven matches to play. City were not in league action at the weekend as they were facing Chelsea at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday. "It was an important win and we are one game closer to the title. The important thing is not to take our eye off the ball," United manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports. At the other end, Sunderland won their first match under new manager Paolo Di Canio, beating Newcastle United 3-0 in a thunderous Tyne-Wear derby to boost their survival chances. It was their biggest win over their arch-rivals at St James' Park since 1966 and their first
there since 2000. The win, their first for 10 league matches, came thanks to goals from Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan, and together with Stoke's defeat, lifted Sunderland into 15th place with 34 points. Stoke, who have now taken just one point from a possible 21, slipped back to 16th with 34 points, level with Sunderland and Aston Villa and just three clear of FA Cup finalists Wigan Athletic in 18th. Dominant United: United, who stumbled when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Manchester City on Monday, had it easy against a Stoke side, who never looked like getting anything from the game after falling behind in the fourth minute. The hosts' defence failed to clear a United corner and the ball bobbled around in front of goal before Carrick reacted to poke it past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Wayne Rooney was playing deeper than usual in midfield and with Nemanja Vidic restored to the United defence alongside Rio Ferdinand, they looked composed at the back. On the odd occasion when Stoke did threaten, improving United goalkeeper David de Gea dealt with everything. United sealed the points when Van Persie, who had not scored for his side for just over two months, slammed in his penalty after he had been fouled by Andy Wilkinson. "It
was a big win. It was important that we bounced back from last Monday," said Van Persie, after netting his 20th league goal of the season. "My goal came at an important time, but I wouldn't have cared who scored the goal. Every single player battled out there and we deserved it."
Passionate celebration: Sunderland also ran out convincing winners in the earlier game of the day which turned out to be a one-sided derby which left Newcastle on the fringe of the relegation battle with 36 points from their 33 games. Di Canio, who replaced Martin O'Neill
Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa (L) challenges Stoke City's Ryan Shotton during their English Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday. –AGENCIES
and saw them beaten in his first match in charge at Chelsea last week, celebrated their goals with an outpouring of emotion. He leapt in the air, did a series of arm pumps, ran down the touchline and slid along the ground in his suit. "I'm happy for my players because they were warriors today," Di Canio said on the BBC. "I was excited to see our fans celebrate because I know what it means to win here." Sessegnon opened the scoring with a low shot after 27 minutes, Johnson made it 2-0 with a left-foot curler after 74 and Vaughan put the icing on the cake with a stunning half-volley with the outside of his left boot with eight minutes remaining. The second and third goals came after Newcastle keeper Tim Krul had suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by substitute Rob Elliott, but no goalkeeper could have realistically saved either effort. United manager Alan Pardew said afterwards that Krul would be out for the remainder of the season. "Tim has dislocated his shoulder and is definitely out for the season," Pardew told reporters. "The loss of Tim and the goal that was not given for offside were a couple of crucial moments. "Losing Tim lost me a pair of legs and one sub which was difficult. Those two moments meant Sunderland could see out the win." –AGENCIES
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
APRIL 15, 2013
16 dead as bombers attack Somali court
Afridi meets Nawaz, denies joining PML-N LAHORE: Renowned cricketer Shahid Afridi Sunday denied media reports about his joining the PML-N, saying that he only went to condole the death of Nawaz Sharif ’s brother. Brushing aside the reports, Afridi said his focus remains doing well for the national side. As soon as Afridi met with Sharif, television channels ran alerts that Afridi had joined the PML N party. But Afridi immediately issued a denial insisting he had no plans to join politics. "I have not joined any party nor am I contesting the elections. Right now my focus is on playing for Pakistan and regaining my best form and fitness," Afridi said. –AGENCIES
MOGADISHU: Nine al-Shabab Islamic extremists, most wearing suicide vests, stormed Somalia's main court complexon Sunday while the Supreme Court was in session, firing a barrage of bullets during a running gun battle with security forces that lasted two hours, officials said. A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers. The assault was the most serious in Mogadishu since al-Shabab militants were forced out of the capital in August 2011. Al-Shababcontrols far less territory today than in years past, and its influence appears to be on the decline, but Sunday's attack proved
the extremists are still capable of pulling off well-planned and audacious assaults. The attack on the Supreme Court complex began at around 12:30 p.m., sparking running battles with police and army forces. Two bomb blasts were heard and gunmen were seen on the roof of a court building firing shots, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said. Police officer Hassan Abdulahi said he saw five dead bodies lying at the entrance to the court. The militants took an unknown number of hostages during the siege. Many other government workers and civilians in the court complex — a
confusing labyrinth of buildings and rooms — hid while fearing for their lives. Western officials knew militants had been planning something major. The British Foreign Office on Friday released a travel warning for Somalia that warned of a high threat of terrorism. "We continue to believe that terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks in Mogadishu," it said. The complex and sustained nature of the assault on the court system suggested militants hoped to inflict severe casualties. Later, a suicide car bomber rammed a vehicle carrying Turkish citizens. On a Twitter feed believed to belong
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has changed the tribunal for hearing the appeals against PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif. According to the notification issued on Sunday, the appeals against them have been transferred to the new tribunal comprising Justice Nasir Saeed Shaikh and Justice Shahid Wahid. Four appeals were filed against acceptance of nomination papers of Mian Nawaz Sharif from NA-120 Lahore. Similarly, 4 appeals were filed against acceptance of candidature of Mian Shahbaz Sharif from PP-161. Earlier‚ the election tribunal of Lahore had declined to hear the appeals against both PML-N leaders on personal grounds. –AGENCIES
LAHORE: Twenty-one more children, affected by measles, have been admitted in Mayo Hospital, raising the number of patients more than 1100 in the current year. In the beginning 13 days April, at least 200 measles affected children have been admitted in Mayo Hospital, however, five children have died in past three days. Medical Superintendent (MS) of Mayo Hospital, Dr Zahid Pervaiz said two special wards have been set for measles patients, adding that seriously affected children are being treated in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). –AGENCIES
Afghan probe ﬁnds 17 died in airstrike KABUL: Both Taliban insurgents and the US military were to blame for an airstrike a week ago that killed 17 people, including a dozen children, during a fierce battle in eastern Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai said Saturday. Karzai made his comments after an Afghan investigation into the April 6 attack raised the civilian death toll from 11 to 17, including 12 children, four women and one innocent man. An American civilian adviser was also killed during the fighting. The report says the US strike occurred after the Afghan intelligence came under attack by militants during an operation to arrest two insurgent commanders in Kunar. –AGENCIES
Militant killed in one-hour shootout Rangers operation on in Kunwari Colony
OUR STAFF REPORTER
Six killed as rival groups clash in chilas
21 more measles cases reported in Lahore
government's commitment to progress. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said Somalia is moving forward but the enemy of Somalia and "of all mankind" is trying to prevent the country from prospering. "I want the terrorist to know that our country, Somalia, is moving and will keep moving forward and will not be prevented to achieve the ultimate noble goal, a peaceful and stable Somalia, by a few desperate terrorists," Mohamud said. Ugandan troops stationed in Mogadishu as part of the African Union force arrived at the scene and began taking up sniper positions on rooftops. –AGENCIES
Terrorist attack foiled in Karachi
Tribunal for hearing Sharifs’ appeals changed
CHILAS: At least six people were killed and five houses set on fire in a clash between two rival groups. According to reports, the clash was started after a minor conflict between students on Sunday. Two persons died on the spot as one of the groups started firing. The other group burnt the 5 houses of rival group in which 4 persons, including a woman, burnt to death. Police arrested five suspects from the area. Both groups belong to Thor village. -ONLINE
to the militants, al-Shabab appeared to take credit for the attack. A posting said five militants from the "Martyrdom Brigade" took part in the "daring" attack. Interior Minister Abdikarim Hussein Guled said nine militants attacked the court complex, and that six of them detonated suicide vests. Three others were shot and killed during the assault, he said. Guled said he couldn't immediately provide an overall death toll that included government officials and civilians. Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said the "pointless and pathetic act" would have no effect on the
KARACHI: Candidates solving their paper during the entry test for recruitment by Sindh Police at Expo Centre. — ONLINE
Balochistan situation will improve after polls: Magsi
Munter goes vocal against drone strikes ISLAMABAD: Former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter appeared to be very vocal for putting an end to the CIA operated drone strikes in Pakistan, says an article carried by the New York Times. The article gave an inside look into how a CIA contractor damaged the Pak-US bonds. The former US envoy reported daily to Washington about the negative impact of drone attacks and apprised the US government that CIA seemed to be conducting a war in vacuum, oblivious to the ramifications that the strikes were having on American relations with Pakistan’s government, according to NYT report. Even Munter strained his relations with CIA station chief over the handling of the Davis case. The paper further said they were also not on the same page about drone attack policy inside Pakistan tribal areas as he believed that the CIA was being reckless and his position as ambassador was becoming untenable. In a National Security Council meeting, Munter who participated via secure video link said that he should have veto power over specific drone strikes. Panetta told Munter that the C.I.A. had the authority to do what it wanted in Pakistan. It didn’t need to get the ambassador’s approval for anything. I dont work for you, Panetta told Munter, according to several people at the meeting. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to Munter’s defense. She turned to Panetta and told him that he was wrong to assume he
could steamroll the ambassador and launch strikes against his approval, the paper stated. The paper pointed that the single incident of Raymand Davis was not the only one that damaged the longstanding bilateral relations between Pakistan and the USA. In the post 9/11 scenario, the CIA had framed some of its most sensitive jobs to outside contractors - many of them with neither the experience nor the temperament to work in the war zones of the Islamic world. The clash between USA and Pakistan developed over the suspicious status of Davis on the stubborn position of the CIA to accept him as a spy working for the agency. Calling Davis a “diplomat” was, technically, accurate since he entered into Pakistan on a diplomatic passport. But there was a dispute about whether his work in the Lahore Consulate, as opposed to the American Embassy in Islamabad, gave him full diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, added the paper. It is pertinent to mention here that Raymand Davis was set free after the families of victims forgave him and an amount of Rs.200 million was paid to them in the form of blood money or diyat, said the paper Ambassador Munter subsequently issued a public statement saying he was “grateful for the generosity of the families and expressed regret for the entire incident and the suffering it caused. –AGENCIES
QUETTA: Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi Sunday expressed optimism that the situation can be improved in Balochistan if the public voted for good people in the upcoming general elections. “Nationalists participation would have positive impacts on the province,” Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi told a private TV channel. He said participation of Baloch and Pashtun nationalists parties would help in improvement of situation in the province. He, however, said there was a law and order problem in only four to five districts of Balochistan. The Balochistan governor said there was no possibility of army’s involvement in political affairs of the country. “People must come forward and use their votes to strengthen democracy,” he added. Regarding Gwadar Deep Sea Port Project, he said the mega project would boost economic activities and create job opportunities in Balochistan. “Obviously those having interests would create law and order problem for us,” Nawab Magsi said when asked about the interest of international powers in Gwadar Port. He said that peace can be maintained in Gwadar if better administration is placed.
KARACHI: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of police conducted a raid operation in Karachi’s Surjani town area on Sunday and foiled a possible terrorist attack. Following a tip-off from Aslam Mehsud, the alleged brain behind the Abbas Town bombing, police conducted an operation in the Surjani town area where they recovered a huge cache of weapons and ammunition along with an explosives-laden car. The explosives-laden car was seized by CID personnel after a one-hour shootout with terrorists which resulted in death of Aslam and left two policemen were injured. The SSP Chaudhry Aslam told media personnel that four tt pistols and a kalashnikov were recovered, adding that the suspects had planned to target the residence of political party leaders and other
important buildings in the area, including a hospital. Private TV channels reported police officers as saying that one suspect was also taken into custody from the spot and that Mehsud has sustained injuries while identifying the hide-out during an ambush that took place as soon as the police-raiding team entered the locality. The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, announced a reward of Rs 2 million for the CID team in the wake of the successful operation. In related news, the Rangers personnel also conducted an operation in Kunwari Colony early on Sunday. At least, 800 Rangers personnel including women took part in the three-hour long operation. The Ranger forces cordoned off the area, blocking all entry and exit points and conducted house-to-house searches with the help of sniffer dogs. According to a Rangers spokesperson, six suspects were taken into custody.
Major police shuﬄe on the cards KARACHI: After major reshuffle in the bureaucracy, the Sindh caretaker government has decided to transfer all police officials from the rank of Station House Officers (SHOs) to that of superintendents so that their expected influence on upcoming general elections could be averted. The major reshuffling undertaken in the police department was the result of orders given by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to thwart any activities that could influence the polling process by the local administration that was appointed by the former PPP led Sindh government, sources said. The home department has issued a letter to all the SSPs of the district to immediately transfer the SHOs and influential ASIs in their respective districts and submit a compliance report with the Capital Police Officer (CPO) within three days, sources added. –AGENCIES
CJ urges ‘all’ to support EC in Balochistan QUETTA: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary has said that Balochistan was facing problems of good governance, sectarianism, law and order etc. “ROs are responsible for fair and transparent elections”, he said addressing Returning Officers at Balochistan High Court. The CJ said in such a situation the responsibilities of ROs double. He said ROs were representing judiciary and that it was the responsibility of constitutional institutions to ensure fair polls, adding that female were equal to male and they should not be deprived
of casting votes. “Main stakeholders in elections are voters.” He said it was the responsibility of all institutions to support Election Commission in Balochistan since the province was facing challenges. “Democracy can flourish through electioneering”, he said. Saying that constitution will be protected at all cost, the CJ stated that said Balochistan’s conditions are not good but the judiciary has always performed its duties. He said it is desire of the whole nation to see transparent elections in the supervision of the judiciary. –AGENCIES
Indira questioned Pakistan’s policies in NWFP, Balochistan
Wikileaks says India protested US support for Pakistan before 1971 war Nixon called Gandhi an ‘old witch’
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI: "I don't think you are supporting Pakistan. If you had taken a stronger line with (Pakistan military ruler) Yahya (Khan), you would have done more for Pakistan." This is what Indira Gandhi told US President Richard Nixon just days before India-Pakistan war when she met him in Washington in November 1971, according to a US diplomatic cable made public by Wikileaks. The cable on October 19, 1973 is based on a conversation between then
US Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Indira Gandhi. During his meeting, Moynihan informed Gandhi that Nixon was concerned that developments on the Afghan border in 1973 should not lead to difficulties for Pakistan and that he hoped India would share this view. It was at this time that Gandhi recalled her conversation with Nixon prior to the Bangladesh crisis. A cable made public eight years ago by Wikileaks had said that Nixon called Gandhi an "old witch" when Henry Kissinger met him at
White House hours after the talks with Gandhi. The US had sided with Pakistan in the 1971 war and even threatened to move its Seventh Fleet to Indian Ocean. Gandhi had then declared India will not be intimidated by such moves. In the 1973 cable, Moynihan said Gandhi assured that India indeed saw the independence and integrity of Pakistan as a cornerstone of Indian foreign policy but the policy that country is following in NWFP and Balochistan "would not
strengthen" that country but "rather would weaken it". "What Pakistan subsequently did was not best for Pakistan. As for the Balochistan and NWFP are internal affairs of Pakistan. India would not interfere. But it never has worked to try to destroy people... Finally Afghanistan has a large Pathan population. It must be concerned that this population not be aroused by events in Pakistan," he wrote. During his meeting, Moynihan informed Gandhi that Nixon was concerned that developments on the
Afghan border should not lead to difficulties for Pakistan and that he hoped India would share this view. The Ambassador told her that Washington felt that peace has indeed come to South Asia despite difficulties but Gandhi told him situation was "still uneasy". On expanding economic cooperation, Moynihan said the US understood that the Prime Minister faced difficulties for establishing any new relationship with America. "Difficulties, as she put it, with the public mind, the party mind.
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.