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TAHIRUL QADRI – JUST A WHIMPER PG I 03

THE VIOLENCE OF WORDS

THE FED CUP EXPERIENCE

– IMDAD HUSSAIN

– SABA AZIZ

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PG I 07

Jamadi-ul-Awwal 05, 1434

MONdAy March 18, 2013

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Islamabad/Rawalpindi

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Vol, V, No. 333

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TODAY’S WEATHER

Pages 12 I Price 10/-

www.thespokesman.pk

Opp gets majority in Balochistan Assembly 

JUI-F stands isolated  MPAs of PPP, PML-N, PML-Q join ranks with Magsi

SAEED MINHAS

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan is boiling again with political mercury touching alarming proportions as Jamiat Ulemae-Islam (JUI-F) stand in isolation and majority of the assembly and cabinet members have rallied behind Opposition leader Nawabzada Tariq Magsi. In a unique act of solidarity, PPP, PML-Q and Nawaz League MPAs have decided to sit together in Opposition at

a time when their national leadership is pretending to have developed a noreturn point on issues of caretaker prime minister in center. Eight MPAs of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), 16 out of 19 of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and five from PML-N also submitted their resignations and joined opposition. After losing the majority, the incumbent chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had to postpone the

scheduled cabinet meeting on Sunday thus paving the way for opposition coalition to confront JUI-F directly. Tusssle between Magsi and JUI-F seems to have entered into a phase, where even beleaguered chief minister Aslam Raisani has decided to follow the dictates of the majority group. Balochistan PPP President Sadiq Umrani, Balochistan PML-N President Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, and Balochistan PML-Q President Shiekh

Jaffer Mandokhel held a meeting on the sidelines to discuss their joint future course of action. It is learnt that they have decided in principle to block the way of any partial caretaker Chief Minister in Balochistan and might agree to a name proposed by Tariq Magsi. The new alliance has refused to accept name of Jamiat Ulema e IslamFazl’s (JUI-F) Maulana Wasay as leader of the opposition. Sources said the latest political crisis in Baluchistan

has created difficulties for dissolution of the assembly. Meanwhile, Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi has accepted resignations of 20 provincial ministers from PPP, PML-Q, and likeminded group. Twenty Balochistan ministers had tendered their resignations, giving warning that they would not accept what they called a caretaker government which two political parties - Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and

Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP) – want to impose on the province. The assembly is due to complete its tenure on April 7, 2013. Therefore, chances of recalling the Assembly for electing a new leader of the House, even for few days to help facilitate the transition of power as per 18th amendment is very much on the cards. Meanwhile, PML-N, PML-Q and PPP agreed to bring an impartial caretaker CM in Balochistan.

Govt, Opp stick to guns on caretaker PM

SNEAK PEEK

New names may surface

‘Guilty’ officials feel free after cdA chief’s removal Officials of the Capital Development Authority who found guilty in some unlawful acts have taken a sigh of relief after removal of Syed Tahir Shahbaz, as the former CDA chairman along with other board members wanted to transfer or to take action against all of them after the formation of caretaker setup. Page 02

 

SAEED MINHAS

cJ takes notice of midnight jackals Taking suo motu notice of the transfer of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz by the PPP government before its departure on Saturday, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry issued notices to the Cabinet and Interior secretaries as well transferred and newly posted chairman of the civic agency- Syed Tahir Shahbaz and Tariq Pirzada respectively. Page 03

PML-N says PPP-led govt set record of corruption Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz Secretary Information of Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said that the PPP-led government “has set record of corruption in its five-year term”. He said that PPP caused inflation by printing the currency notes worth of Rs 1.5 billion on daily basis and shambled the economy of the country. Page 04

PTI polls postponed after hooliganism in Mohmand The intra-party elections of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday were postponed for an unspecified period after exchange of harsh words between two rival groups at the main polling station in Mohmand tribal region. In Mohmand Agency, the PTI have two groups in which one group represents Sajid Khan and the other Malik Dawood Khan. Page 05

Growing old bittersweet experience: kidman Actress Nicole Kidman describes growing old as a bittersweet experience, but says she is happy with herself at this age. Kidman is more comfortable at this age than she thought she would be. "Being 45 is better than I expected,” she was as saying. Page 10

Afridi fireworks fail to save Pakistan Centuries by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers set up a 34-run victory for South Africa despite a thrilling innings by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi in the third one-day international at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday. Amla (122) and De Villiers (128) shared a world record third wicket partnership of 238 as South Africa made 343 for five after being sent in. Page 11

MPs committee to get 4 names tonight Behind the scene meetings continue

LAHORE: Christians of Joseph Colony offer prayers in open before going to their burnt church which was opened by Shahbaz Sharif. –ONLINE

Army to be deployed at sensitive places

PPP not BB’s party

ECP releases final electoral rolls

OUR STAFF REPORTER



RejectsSenate committee’s reform proposal  Parties to get symbols today

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has released the final electoral rolls, by which over 80 million voters willexercise their right of franchise in the upcoming general elections. According to the ECP, 85,738,789 voters have been registered across the country — 48,416,413 male and 37,322,376 female voters. There are 4,900,564 voters registered in Punjab, 18,713,573 voters in Sindh‚ 12,311,001 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 3,345,067 voters in Balochistan, whereas the number of voters in FATA are 1,749,331 and 614,176 voters have been registered in the Federal area. The ECP has also made it clear that it can discharge its constitutional mandate without intervention from any quarter, an observation it made in response to a proposal recently made by the Senate Special Committee on Election Issues that a parliamentary body could be entrusted with the task of monitoring a long-term process for electoral reform. In a letter by ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan of the ECP to Senate Secretary Raja Amin, it was conveyed that some parts of the Badr committee report were found to be “derogatory to the mandate given to the ECP by the constitution”.

“Any power exercised by the ECP outside this mandate can be struck down by the superior courts, but no committee of either house or a joint parliamentary committee can meddle or exercise oversight on the mandate given to the ECP by the constitution,” the letter reads. “The parliament is all-powerful to make or amend the laws to give more powers to the ECP to accomplish its mandate in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. However, it is bereft of any power to make inroads in the constitution except through an amendment of the relevant portion of the constitution, but only to the extent of empowering the ECP and not to digress from the powers already given to the ECP,” the letter said. The ECP will meetrepresentatives of political parties today to allot election symbols and it has asked all the political parties that have applied for election symbols to each send a representative to the meeting. “If a political party does not attend the meeting of the ECP for allotment of election symbols, the ECP has the right to allot the party a symbol in the light of the preferences shown by that party in its application to the ECP for the purpose”, the ECP stated.The deadline expired onMarch 15.

Nabil Gabol joins MQM KARACHI: PPP MNA Nabil Gabol Sunday joined the MQM, ending his 25-year affiliation with the party. Addressing a press conference at Nine-Zero to formally announce his decision, he said: “Nine-Zero always felt like my second home… Now I’m saying goodbye to the PPP to join the MQM.” Gabol said the current PPP is not Benazir Bhutto’s party. “The current PPP, in these five years, ignored my constituency Lyari and destroyed it. For three years, I took a stand and warned the party leadership that the situation of Lyari is like a time-bomb which will affect the entire city in the future… But no one listened to me,” he said, adding that he remained an MNA for the past five years because he was given the ticket by Benazir Bhutto and he wanted to show loyalty to her. “Since a year, I had been thinking of quitting the PPP and joining a new party, but I could not decide which party to join. All parties invited me but Altaf Hussain would always personally call me whenever I had a problem,” he said.

ISLAMABAD: Politically bullying seems to have no end in federal capital as both PML-N and PPP have locked their horns over the nomination of caretaker prime minister by rejecting each other’s’ choices for the time being thus raising the chances of a dark horse’s induction at the last minute. Constitutionally, if both sides failed to resolve the issue within three days of the dissolution of the assembly, an eight member parliamentary committee will be given the chance to debate on the issue and come out with a consensus candidate if they can, otherwise the matter will be sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan for planting one of the four names forwarded to them by the parliamentary committee. Will the matter go to penultimate date of March 24 or will it be resolved by the political big wigs, remains the questions making round in the federal capital. With hectic movements seen all around, political insiders believe that chances of a dark horse, unheard off before might surface within next few days on the sheer basis that both sides are fearing ECP amidst theories of a prolonged caretaker setup in the name of purging the country of evil politicking and corruption. Therefore, insiders believe that both sides are trying to remind each other of lingering conspiracies thus asking each other to reach a conclusion by Monday night. Two names each from Opposition, Justice (Retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Rasool Bux Palejo and two from coalition partners of PPP, Hafeez Sheikh and Dr Ishrat Hussain are still on the table. Favourite horses in this race are considered to be Nasir Aslam Zahid and Hafeez Sheikh from their respective sides. Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar remains adamant on the appointment of Justice (retired)

Nasir Aslam Zahid while the government has not budged from the position it had taken on the names forwarded by it for the post. PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira, meanwhile, has floated a blinder in the political mess by taking about the possibility of bringing in new names for consideration to end the deadlock persisting between his party the Nawaz League. His statement has spurred immediately few more names in the arena which includes some of the oldies making rounds for over a month in various circles. They include people like Mamood Khan Achakzai, who himself has refused the request of Mian Nawaz Sharif few weeks back on the basis that he himself wants to contest elections. Then the names like Hussain Haroon, Asma Jehangir, even Senator Raza Rabbani, Senator Jehangir Badr, Senator Afrasiab Khattak and Senator Ishaq Dar have also become part of the ongoing debate. These names have been appearing in the media during the past few weeks with strong reservations from all sides of political elite, therefore, chances of hem making to fresh list are considered minimal by many political insiders. Yet they are not ruling out the possibility of a new face appearing on the horizon as per the traditions of Pakistani politics. However, these insiders believe that this time the name might not come from Khakis or any of the usual suspects, but might emerge from within political wranglers. Nevertheless, they say that ultimately the name has to be cleared from the safe houses in the name of getting security clearance. To create further doubts in the kind of the opposition, PPP played another smart move of sending its senior party leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim to meet Fazlur Rehman soon after the breaking news that Nawaz League has failed to calm down Maulana for dropping his nominee from the list of caretaker probable; i.e, Justice (Retd) Shakir Ullah Jan.

SC hears important cases today 

PM’s letter, Joseph Colony, LNG among other cases on the list

STAFF REPORTER

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will hear a number of important cases, including a letter of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, today (Monday). A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed will hear the letter of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, which was converted into a petition. The bench will also hear a case pertaining to violence in Joseph Colony, located near Badami Bagh

area of Lahore, over alleged blasphemy, Bank of Punjab Vs Haris Steel Industries case involving billion of rupees corruption, a petition regarding miserable condition of a school in Gujranwala, where girls sit beside graves whilst taking a test during their daily classes in graveyard, Shahzeb Khan murder case and a case regarding award of a multibillion dollar contract for import of 400 million cubic feet of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Earlier on March 11, while hearing the plea of Raja Pervez Ashraf requesting the Chief Justice of Pakistan to set up a

commission headed by Dr Shoaib Suddle to investigate the allegations of corruption against him in the Rental Power Projects (RPP) case, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, PML-Q leader Faisal Saleh Hayat and PML-N legislator Khawaja Asif, being petitioners in the RPP case. Wasim Sajjad will advocate the PM. According to legal experts, the plea is likely to be thrown out, being weightless having no substance, and besides the court, at its (plea) preliminary hearing, has also clearly noted that it (SC)

had already delivered its verdict in the RPPs case and the review plea against the verdict had also been withdrawn by the government. The court has also noted that if a premier will question the credibility of the NAB, then what other people will think and take impression from it, adding that in the RPP case, constitution of a commission was equal to a review of the whole verdict. In his letter, the Prime Minister regretted that a totally unwarranted and unending smear campaign had been unleashed against him and his family in recent years by certain vested

interests, which had compelled him to make this request. “It is also extremely demeaning for the State, particularly, when I hold such a high office,” he stated, adding that he considered it expedient to ask to take the case away from NAB and give it to an independent commission to effectively deal with the allegations that the government was using its influence on the case. He recalled that the Supreme Court had also adopted such a course in a recent sensitive case when a one-man commission was constituted under Dr Shoaib Suddle.


CMYK MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Shortage of district attorneys adding number of cases against state MASOOD REHMAN

ISLAMABAD: Owing to shortage of district attorneys, thousands of cases are pending against the state in the district courts throughout the country, which may be disposed of expeditiously if the number of district attorneys is increased and the existing ones work with devotion and dedication. Thousands of cases against the state are pending adjudication before the district courts for years, however no serious efforts are being made by the concerned authorities to dispose of

these cases speedily by increasing the number of district attorneys and monitoring the working of existing ones. According to senior lawyers, the role of district attorneys is myriad and complex, thus they are required to work with devotion and dedication, so that the cases pending against the state in the district courts may be disposed of expeditiously. They said the proactive role of the district attorneys was a must in dispensation of justice. Advocate Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry said that the district

attorneys can enhance public confidence over them by quality of their work. Being the qualified and licensed lawyers, the district attorneys can be an important safeguard against due process and human rights violations, he said. Keeping in view the pivotal role of the district attorneys and deputy district attorneys in administration of the justice, the Federal Judicial Academy has started orientation courses for these attorneys from all over the country including Azad Kashmir.

Senior lawyer Hamid Khan said that the subordinate courts and attorneys themselves have to enhance the public confidence in the judiciary by the quality of their work. To a query, he said the orientation courses for the attorneys would definitely enhance their information and sharpen their skills. He said as the continuing judicial and legal education was essential for the judicial officers in the same manners it was essential for the district attorneys and other stakeholders of the justice system. “Since we are living in a

changing world, thus it is essential to all the stakeholders of judicial and legal fraternity to update their knowledge, information and skills about the new trends and mechanisms for efficient and effective dispensation of justice,� he said. He said all the stakeholders of the justice system have to make committed efforts to overcome the slow pace and customary delays in the legal and judicial system. He said the district attorneys/government pleaders play vital role in the district courts in instituting/defending and conducting

Long-distance U-turns add to miseries of commuters

Saad Hariri oers Nawaz Sharif bomb-proof car I SLAM ABAD: Saad Hariri, the son of former Lebanese President Rafiq Hariri, has offered a bomb-proof vehicle, equipped with state-of-theart satellite system to PML (N) Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif. When asked, PML (N) Information Secretary Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, replied, “It was an old matter.â€? Nawaz Sharif was offered a bulletproof van but now he does not know about the latest development in this regard. ONLINE

Public policy dialogue on gender, health on 20th ISLAMABAD: To recognise the issues, challenges and opportunities in this complex duo of gender-based violence and public health from a Pakistani perspective, a public policy dialogue with the key stakeholders would be organised on March 20 by Alternative Perspectives. It is the first and till to date the only indigenous think tank on health and reproductive health issues operating under AGEHI (Advocates of Gender, Education & Health Information) Resource Centre which is a technical resource wing of SACHET (a right-based advocacy-cum-service delivery organisation, working since 1999 with multiple projects of gender, health, education, livelihood and trainings). Violence against women and girls is one of the most urgent problems and it cannot be isolated from gender domain as stereotypes and power attached to certain individuals, relations and institutions directly or indirectly impacts mostly the lives of disadvantaged individuals and communities. The policy dialogue would be chaired by UNFP Country Representative Rabbi Royan and moderated by SACHET Executive Director Dr Rakhshinda Perveen, who is also the founder of the Alternative Perspectives. STAFF REPORT

President condoles with martyr soldiers’ families ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed deep sense of condolence and sorrow for the loss of precious lives of soldiers when their bus plunged into a deep ravine on Karakoram Highway in Kohistan district. President Zardari in his condolence message to the bereaved families of the martyrs expressed sorrow and grief on this loss in which 21 soldiers including officer of Pakistan Army lost their lives. The president prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls and may Allah Almighty grant courage and fortitude to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss. —APP

Sunday Art Bazaar ISLAMABAD: The Art Gallery launched the Sunday Art Bazar in the federal capital on Sunday where the work of art students, new artist exhibition would be held respectively. On the special occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Art Gallery it would launch Art Bazar and more than 100 Artist would take part in this Art Bazar while work of arts, model and creative work of artist was displayed in the show. The aim of this Art Gallery is to give special encouragement to new artists and promote their work and talent in front of the world. ONLINE

of suits on behalf of the government. They also represent the government in all revenue and civil cases in which the government was impleaded as a party. Thus, they are required to produce or controvert evidence of the parties involved in such suits/cases, thus they should be very careful about the collection of evidence, selection of witnesses, production of public documents, examination and crossexamination of witnesses etc. He said that the district attorneys should be appointed on priority basis, where needed.

ISLAMABAD: A view from above! Little motorcycles race down 7th Avenue. INP

‘Guilty’ officials feel free after CDA chief ’s removal 

After caretakers, Shahbaz was ready to take action against corrupt

SALMAN ABBAS

ISLAMABAD: Officials of the Capital Development Authority who found guilty in some unlawful acts have taken a sigh of relief after removal of Syed Tahir Shahbaz, as the former CDA chairman along with other board members wanted to transfer or to take action against all of them after the formation of caretaker setup. Sources informed The Spokesman that the former chairman had recently conducted a meeting with the board members to take a line of action against those officials who have misused their authority. The CDA high-ups were mulling to transfer all such officials or to take stern action against them likewise suspension of their services and posting.

CDA bosses have decided to act upon their line of action during the caretaker setup so that they would not have had to face any type of influence or political pressure. “But what brings an end to all such determination is once again relations of such officials with the ruling class,� said the official, adding that two of those officials who tried to raise their voice against corruption has been removed. “Let see what will happens with the remaining ones,� said a senior CDA official. Recently, former CDA Environment Member Dr Kazim Niaz probed the illegal allotment of residential plots to some 109 officials and recommended that the disciplinary action should be taken against the officials involved in the scam. Another senior official of the CDA’s planning wing who, allegedly, allotted a piece of

land in the Diplomatic Enclave for the establishment of diplomatic shuttle service on throwaway price of Rs2 square yard was also under the discussion of the CDA bosses and they wanted to transfer him also. Another senior official in DMA Directorate could also be come under the hammer of his seniors as he was also found guilty of allotting a kiosk in the name of interior minister’s brother by setting aside all the rules. However, the sources said that now all of the officials have almost been saved as the new chairman does not enjoy good reputation as compared to Tahir Shahbaz who took firm stand against the political pressures and also faced the consequences of his honesty. Same was done with one of his board member Kazim Niaz who was sent back to Balochistan around four days ago.

ISL AMABAD: Closure of short cut passages and small U-turns on all the roads of the federal capital has caused embarrassment to the citizens. Under traffic plan, small U-turns have been abolished and long U-turns have been built to make roads, high ways and intersections signal free to ease traffic flow. But longer U-turns have cost heavily to the common man, as they have to bear the brunt of additional expenses on petrol and gas consumption on their way from homes to offices and back to homes. Short U-turns was a real facility for us as we covered the distance to our office in 15 minutes and this way we had to spend a small amount on fuel consumption but due to long u-turns we have not only to suffer in terms of time but in terms of fuel consumption at such a time when fuel prices are soaring sky high, said a group of government employees. The prevalent u-turn arrangement depicts a gloomy picture as no U-turn exists on threekilometre-long road intervening between I-8 traffic signal and 15 Rescue. Far ahead Faizabad, a U-turn in the name of Swan has been built at a distance of six kilometres. Likewise no U-turn has been built on five kilometres distance between police check post to Peshawar Morr on Kashmir High way in front of fire brigade office. One has to move to 7th Avenue Chowk after traveling two kilometres and then return in order to proceed to Peshawar Morr. This way one has to bear the additional burden of petrol consumption as much as one consumes to cover four kilometres distance. Citizens have complained that no U-turn exists on two kilometres’ distance from D-Chowk to F-7 Chowk in front of the Parliament House. Likewise the U-turn meant for the road leading to Murree from Faizabad is located in front of Margalla Town and this way one has to cover additional distance of two to three kilometres. Citizens demanded evolving of traffic plan to facilitate them and not to compound their traffic woes. ONLINE

Indonesian ambassador calls on IIUI president ISLAMABAD: International Islamic University and Government of Indonesia have decided to cooperate with each other in expanding research-based education. This was said by International Islamic University President Prof. Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh. He was talking to the Indonesian Ambassador in Pakistan Burhan Muhammad, who called on him at his office on Sunday. Both the personalities exchanged views about matters of mutual interest. Prof. Dr. Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, Vice President of the IIUI was also present on the occasion. During the meeting president IIUI and Indonesian ambassador agreed upon expanding the cooperation in the fields of education, research and in this regard mutually workshops and seminars would be organised. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Yousif Al-Draiweesh said that Muslim Ummah is like a family and due to distance youth of Ummah is facing problems

which can be solved with provision of quality education. He said that IIUI would continue providing best facilities to the Indonesian students and scholarships would be provided to the bright Indonesian students. Dr. Al-Draiweesh said that university will solve the problems of Indonesian students on priority basis. Dr. Al-Draiweesh said that Indonesia has played vital role for the progress of Muslim Ummah and Indonesia has also served very best in the field of education and research. About the relationship of Pakistan and Indonesia he said that both the countries are bonded in religious and historical ties and playing vital role to promote Islamic teachings. He further said that IIU will strengthen cooperation in the fields of research and education with the Indonesian universities and in this regard exchange of students and senior faculty members should take place so that both sides may benefit from each other’s experiences and to serve Muslims. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: An elderly couple on their way back home after collecting dry braches. INP

No arrangement for food, shelters at police check-posts HOMER BALOCH

ISLAMABAD: Discriminatory attitude adopted by the Islamabad Police has been falling heavy on those police cops who are performing their duties in days and nights at check posts established at different points in the federal capital as neither a proper shelter nor any toilets has been established for them. Saleem Khan, a head constable appointed at a picket in high security area, told The Spokesman, “We are here to secure the public but we are not provided proper shelters. So how can we assure the security with our limited resources?� He further said that the

low rank police officials in various pickets were suffering as they don’t have any proper arrangement for food and shelter while the higher authorities in their offices enjoy their privileges. Constable Mohammad Akram, while sharing their difficulties said that, “We spent all our winters by burning woods in our tent or cabin near the picket to get warmth. The higher officials claim that they provide us coals in this regard but actually the supply goes to the police stations directly for higher police officials however we the lower officials suffer in the cold winters.� He also said that the officials even don’t have enough time to visit the pickets to

examine the condition of the tents. “We at a picket took shelter under a tree during the hail falling and rain few days ago as rainwater was dripping through the tent we are provided,� he said. Another official requesting anonymity said that they were also having problems regarding their food as most of the pickets do not have restaurants nearby so normally an official is sent to the concerned police station to bring food which takes so much time.� He further said that only during VIP movements and special occasion like the month of Ramazan, they were provided food at their pickets. The cops

also complain of the misbehaving attitude of the people. Constable Rashid Ali said that, “It seems that the capital is only for the bureaucrats, not for the lower ranked officials as we do not even dare to stop a vehicle with having a sign of ‘MNA’ on it as if we do, we face serious circumstances in result.� He said that the vehicles having the diplomatic number plates were also ‘immune’ as the entire police station would be under the rage of higher officials “if we ever try to stop them on our pickets.� Some weeks ago, a Syrian national wanted for many crimes was arrested while driving a vehicle having

CMYK

number plate of UN which clearly indicates that the criminals feel secure by having a diplomatic or international number plate because they know the police were not given enough authority by the higher officials to interrupt such vehicles. However, he said people also misbehave with the police “when we ever to stop them for our routine checking.� He said that the people whenever were stopped, try to show their influence by declaring their affiliation with the political big wigs, which demoralize the police. However, constable Abdul Ghani was found complaining that the police at

the pickets do not even has the facility of toilets. “We often go to mosques nearby or towards the green belts as we do not have the facility of toilets at our pickets,� he said. Islamabad Police spokesperson Naeem Ahmad said that currently there were almost 70 pickets in the capital where around 1000 officials were appointed. He said according to their knowledge, all the pickets were being supplied the coals during the winters. “The pickets are so effective towards the prevention of crimes as during the past few years, the crime ratio has a big decrease due to the effective checking system at the check posts,� he added.


CMYK

POWER ALLEYS |

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 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 aˆ 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

V

Gabol gaoled? he news of Nabeel Gabol’s joining the MQM fell as a bomb shell. We all knew that he had problems in the party. First, he had an issue with the political strategy being applied by Zulfiqar Mirza in Lyari. He was not consulted about his constituency, ignored in the party and was insulted by the coterie around the President. This bred lots of rumours about his possible course of actions. One was that he may not either contest the polls or even the party may not give him the ticket. Another was that he might contest the polls as an independent. Lastly, many said he would join the PML-N. That he finally joined, of all the parties, the MQM felt as a lightening rod. Why? Because the man was one of the biggest critics of the MQM. For years, people heard him blasting the MQM on talk shows. The only matching example could be if Shahi Syed also joins the MQM or Chaudhary Nisair joins the PPP, aptly said a political reporter. Many thought that he was scared for his life and sought the MQM protection. Others thought that he got sick of his party leaders and wanted to score even with them. Still others thought that the MQM made him an offer that he could not refuse. Whatever the case, PPP jiyalas think that he may not be able to even visit Lyari, let alone contest elections. Others say that MQM might adjust him on Azizabad constituency, thought it seems unlikely. Either way, this may have been the biggest jolt that the PPP may have suffered in the recent days. And this may have been the inner erosion of the PPP that Naheed Khan was hinting at a week earlier. Is it the oneoff thing or the beginning of many more such defections. How about the PPP man from Hyderabad?

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Farooq Tariq @ Farooqtariq3

Tahirul Qadri — just a whimper o the Tahirul Qadri phenomenon turned out to be a whimper in the end. He came, he conquered and then, well, he morphed into a cat who was posing as a lion. His public meeting at Liaquat Bagh was a nonevent even before it started. In contrast to his earlier visit to Islamabad, Amir Mateen there was no nervousness, no media hype and no public interest. The life in the twin cities was as normal as any other day. This begs a few questions: How could he create such hype earlier? How could a virtual outsider take over the country like a whirlwind? Was it because of the money that he spent on media? Was it because of any hidden support? Was it the timing that he found uncertainty and a political vacuum? And then how did the tide turn against him? Did he play his cards wrong and missed the opportunity? Did he grow bigger than his shoes? Perhaps, the answer is a mix of all this. It does not matter whether he contests the elections or not. In fact, it was not possible for him to do that. Personally, he could not contest the polls because he was a dual citizen and his commitment to Pakistan was not big enough for him to give up his Canadian nationality. His party, which had become non-functional, could not fulfill the requirement of the Election Commission in such a short time. No matter how much he tried to be serious, quoting the Constitution, the strictures and what not in his thunderous roars, he stirred more humour than any serious impact at the end. Partly because of his idiosyncrasies as, for

Politically Incorrect

S

The problem was not with the message but most with the messenger who did not have the credentials or the wits to carry it further.

instance, his loathing to be addressed as Maulana and partly because of his dramatics — the jumpy way of articulation, the designer robes and the aura of novelty mixed with extreme security cautions. He came across as a complicated split-personality who threw mixed messages to the public: An awami leader who would not get out of his armoured cabin; a darvesh who was so eager for media publicity; a religious scholar who was politically so ambitious; a politician who wanted to be taken seriously as a religious scholar; a Pakistani nationalist who had a foreign nationality and did not return here for over a decade; a hypocrite who was found saying contradictory things in various time zones; a mullah who tried to be more liberal than, well, liberals. The joke around town was that his slogan ‘Siasat nahi, riasat bichao’ was actually about saving the State of Canada (from the onslaught of Sikhs, Yanks, Deobandis, gays etc), not Pakistan.

Basically, the contradictions in his personality - his past and his present, his life and views expressed here and abroad - and the changing political realities exposed him in the end. Still, it was quite a countdown. His sudden rise and fall says something more about the country than about the man. In retrospect, we can say that the country is so vulnerable that any conjurer with a few tricks in the name of religion or politics can sway it either way like a storm. The fortunes of political parties shoot mercurially up and down with the gathering of one big public meeting. The political actors available do not articulate the inner emotions felt by the public. Or maybe the people do not see their everyday problem getting solved by the political choices that they are being offered in the next elections. Whatever his phenomenon, the Qadri factor proved that a political vacuum exists for any adventurer to sway the public emotions. After all, he got the public interested in his terminology

describing the present political players as playing a “Noora Kushti” - a choice between the lesser evils. No denying that many of the things that he said were right about, let’s say, the electoral reforms and the mutual compromise among the players to have the elections on their own terms. The problem was not with the message but most with the messenger who did not have the credentials or the wits to carry it further. Qadri has a pattern of staging this kind of dramatics after a decade or so. He staged a huge storm in 1989 when he took on his erstwhile benefactors — the Sharifs. He ran away when he could not take the heat. He tried to pull the same trick during Musharraf time and again took a long leave of absence. His third homecoming has been equally dramatic. He may not run away this time. If he chooses otherwise, he may have to change his tactics and prove his credentials here. This should add lots of gravitas to our politics.

CDA’s chairman transfer

CJ takes notice of midnight jackals

#Women in forefront; During 5 years sessions, 55 women legislators asked 8138 questions while 161 male legislators asked 7918 questions

 PM brought in Malik Riaz's man to get plots for his blue eyed Matter to be heard in open court today

If Mush has anything 2 do w the caretaker setup,v will make PK an int'l joke-this is the man who pushed 4 r "strategic alliance" w the US!

tice of the transfer of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz by the PPP government before its departure on Saturday, the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry issued notices to the Cabinet and Interior secretaries as well transferred and newly posted chairman of the civic agency- Syed Tahir Shahbaz and Tariq Pirzada respectively. On Saturday, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf removed the Syed Tahir Shahbaz from the post of Chairman CDA allegedly after the latter declined to obey the PM’s unjust directions of allotting plots to his blue eyed bureaucrats in developed sectors of capital city by setting aside all the rules. . However, it is feared that the PM has got succeeded to get signed all those allotment letters from new

Imaan Hazir Mazari @ImaanHMazari Saria Benazir @SariaBenazir

@AseefaBZ We've always made history fought against every dictatorship, sacrificed our leaders & workers + delivered the most to Pakistan.

Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI

Ridiculous how PPPP & PMLN have done muq muqa for 5 yrs; passed 3 Constit Amendments but cannot now agree on caretaker set up!1/2

Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI

2/2 Unless Punjab has caretaker govt also, how can there be free & fair elections while present Punjab govt controls Admin, Thana & Patwari?

Pir Sabir Shah @PeerSabirShah

This is the new #Democratic #Pakistan lots of positivities comed and many are pnding yet in sh Allah the coming time will be #PMLN

MASOOD REHMAN

ISLAMABAD: Taking suo motu no-

Chairman CDA Tariq Pirzada in the darkness of night which the Shahbaz had declined to sign. CDA sources said that “PM approved the allotment of plots for federal secretaries, bureaucrats, judges and some journalists but the CDA chairman did not refer the matter to CDA board which was the final authority to allot the plots to all these holy cows,” said the source, adding that Shahbaz’s inclination resulted in his removal on the last day of assemblies. A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan has been constituted to hear the matter today (Monday). The Chief Justice directed the Cabinet and the Interior Secretary to appear before the court today (Monday) and produce notifications and summaries in respect of this transfer and posting and intimate as

to why these notifications of premature transfer, which are prima facie violative of the judgment of the apex court, be not set aside. Tahir Shahbaz and Tariq Pirzada- the former and the incumbent Chairmen, CDA have also been summoned. The action was taken on a note initiated by the Registrar office based on press clippings of different newspapers containing the details that before departure, the PPP government sent packing the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Saturday. He was sacked for resisting allotting choice plots in choice sectors of Islamabad to many key bureaucrats. It was further reported that the one major reason for the government’s annoyance with reputed Tahir Shahbaz was the latter’s recent reply to a Supreme Court’s query that is likely to seal the fate of an influential politician. Tahir Shahbaz appointed as Chair-

man CDA only five months back- in October 2012, was supposed to keep a mum like obedient government servant but he did not do that. Consequently, the officer was removed abruptly on the last day of government’s departure and without assigning any reason. This abrupt transfer of Tahir Shahbaz is a violation of the Supreme Court’s November 12, 2012 judgment. The Supreme Court had provided the much needed protection to the government servants from whimsical and arbitrary postings and transfers by directing the federal and provincial governments that they must respect the tenure of an officer against a post and that no government servant should be prematurely transferred without giving reasons in writings. However, despite clear directions, Tahir Shahbaz was prematurely removed. The note also quoted the judgment of November 12, 2012 passed in

Const. Petition 23/2012 (petition by Ms Anita Turab for protection of civil servants) authored by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, wherein it was held as under: “22. (i) Appointments, Removals and Promotions: Appointments, removals and promotions must be made in accordance with the law and the rules made thereunder; where no such law or rule exists and the matter has been left to discretion, such discretion must be exercised in a structured, transparent and reasonable manner and in the public interest.” After going through the contents of the note, the Chief Justice passed the following order:- “Let these news clippings be registered as CMA in Constitution Petition No.23/2012 (petition by Ms. Anita Turab for protection of civil servants) and fixed before the bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja- the author judge of the said judgment on March 18, 2013.

NA passed 85 resolutions for the sake of resolution? TAHIR NIAZ

ISLAMABAD: The legislators in the

13th national assembly, which completed its constitutional term a day back on Saturday, submitted 243 resolutions on local, national and international issues during the five parliamentary years, of which the lower house adopted 85 but the practice in general proved as ‘a resolution for the sake of resolution’, with no major impact on the ground. As a result of 2008 general elections, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came into power and it started with a resolution on the tragic assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Moved by Farooq H Naik, Minister for Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs & Human Rights on 14th April, 2008, the resolution mourned the tragic assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and recommended that the government should approach the UN to get the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto probed by “Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Commission” to identify the culprits, perpetrators, organizers and financers behind this heinous crime and bring them to justice. The PPP remained in power for whole five years but could not identify the culprits, perpetrators, organizers and financers. The house adopted an MQM moved resolution on November 20, 2012 to

de-weaponize the country in the larger interest of the people but illegal weapons still remain a major challenge for the law-enforcers of the country. In another resolution passed by the house same day, the House called upon the federal government to immediately set up an All-Parties Commission, comprising members from all major political parties, including those not represented in the Parliament, with the mandate to bring all estranged leaders/political parties in Balochistan back into the political mainstream. But the genuine desire of the House to rectify past mistakes and ensure the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and dispensation of justice in the province could not be fulfilled in five long years. A consensus resolution at the conclusion of the in-camera joint sitting of parliament (8th Oct - 22th Oct 2008) also asked the government that a political dialogue with the people of Balochistan shall be accelerated but nothing concrete was observed on the subject in the five years. In a much-hyped resolution passed on Guidelines for Terms of Engagement with USA/NATO/ISAF and general foreign policy on April 12, 2012, the house sought immediate cessation of drone attacks inside the territorial borders of Pakistan, saying Pakistan’s sovereignty shall not be compromised. But the US drone attacks are still continuing and the PPP government

hardly raised voice against the ‘aggression’ in its five years term. The joint sitting of the parliament on May 13-14, 2011 had passed another resolution on unilateral US forces’ action in Abbottabad on 2nd may 2011 to condemn the US unilateral action in Abbottabad, which constituted a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. The house called upon the government on September 28, 2010 to take

pragmatic steps to control the incidents of target killings in the country. In another resolution passed by the house on 12th January, 2010, the government was asked to take steps to control unemployment in the country. On November 10, 2009 the house asked the government, through a parliamentary resolution, to take steps to control price-hike in the country. But it remains a fact that price-hike, un-

employment and bad law and order ruled the masses during the last five years. The house passed a resolution on 21st August, 2008 and demanded immediate repatriation of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan but she is still languishing in the US jail. The national assembly on 22nd April, 2008, asked the government to take steps to ban the use of plastic shopping bags and instead

bring in use the bio-degradable shopping bags but no action on part of the government was seen to check the trend. In the five parliamentary years, six resolutions were passed on women’s issues and five each on minorities’ rights and blasphemy. Resolutions condemning the Badami Bagh and Gojra incidents, killing of Ahmadis in Lahore, murder of Shazia Masih and protection of minority rights were adopted by the house. But the minority members in the expired national assembly were seen expressing concern over the plight of minorities in the face of insecurity. Similarly, the national assembly took notice of the missing persons case by passing a resolution expressing concern about the plight of the families of persons missing for long periods without any intimation as to their whereabouts but the issue could not be resolved so far. The lower house of the parliament passed a number of resolutions on different subjects in five years but these could hardly bring a major change on the ground. The government is not to be blamed for the same; may be the circumstances did not favour it as two separate resolutions passed by the house in favour of then Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on June 14, 2012 and May 3, 2012 could not save him from the wrath of the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Turkish Air Force joins PAF in Exercise Indus Viper-II Parliamentary body to break deadlock on PM, says Ch Shujaat LAHORE: PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has hoped that the Parliamentary Committee would break political stalemate over the caretaker prime minister. “I hope that the matter will not go to Election Commission and the committee will finalize a name,” said the chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-eAzam while talking to newsmen during a visit to Joseph Colony‚ Badami Bagh‚ Lahore‚ on Sunday. He said his faction has proposed the name of Dr. Ishrat Hussain for the caretaker prime minister and Justice (retd) Zahid Hussain for caretaker chief minister of Punjab. He strongly condemned the tragic incident of Joseph Colony and declared the Punjab government responsible for the incident. General Secretary PML-Q Mushahid Hussain was also present on the occasion. He demanded immediate arrest of all accused in Joseph Colony incident. ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: International Air Exercise Indus Viper-II conducted between PAF and Turkish Air Force (TuAF) concluded at an operational Air Base of Pakistan Air Force on Sunday Maj Gen Ares Mehmat, Chief of Operations, TuAF was the chief guest at the culmination ceremony. Air Marshal Waseem ud Din, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations), PAF and HE Mr M Babur Hizlan, the Ambassador of Turkey, were also present at the occasion. The Turkish Air Force contingent comprising 5 F-16s C&D (Fighting Falcons),

combat pilots and ground technical crew participated in the air exercise, conducted from March 4 to16. Pakistan Air Force emphasises on the combat training of its air and ground crew and regularly undertakes air exercises with allied air forces. These exercises not only play a vital role in honing the combat skills of PAF air crew but also enable them to learn the latest Air Power employment strategies in complex theaters of warfare. The prime objective of the exercise is to excel in the air combat capability with focus on air power employment in any future conflict.

Pakistan Air Force conducts such exercises on regular intervals both inland and abroad. Air Exercise Indus Viper-II provided an opportunity to combat crew of both the air forces to acquaint themselves with applied tactics of air power in near real scenario. Pakistan Air Force has been participating in number of International Air Exercises with some of the best air forces of the world, including United States Air Force, Italian Air Force, Turkish Air Force and air forces of other allied countries. Exercise Anatolian Eagle is conducted on

alternate year. Similarly, Exercises Red Flag and Green Flag are conducted between PAF and USAF on alternate years. Last year, PAF conducted the operational exercise Shaheen-I with PLA Air Force. The brotherly countries Pakistan and Turkey have a long history of military cooperation. To enhance mutual understanding between the two Air Forces, PAF and TuAF (Turkish Air Force), have been successfully conducting joint exercises for many decades. Exercise Indus Viper-II was also planned in the same backdrop and is the second Air Exercise in this category. ONLINE

Embezzlement application against Aamna Taseer baseless

Operation to recover Czech women in Chaghai continues DALBALDIN: Operation of security forces continued for fourth day for the recovery of two female tourists of Czech Republic who were abducted from Chaghai area of Nokundi. According to media reports, security forces operation is still continued to release female foreigner tourists and cordoned off the routs adjacent to Afghanistan and Iran borders. Chaghai Deputy Commissioner Abdul Qudoos Mengal said that frontier core with the collaboration of local police and Levy is taking part in search operation. ONLINE

Punjab govt survived due to Mush’s support: Kaira ISLAMABAD: Former federal information minister and PPP leader, Qamaruz Zaman Kaira has said that the Punjab government survived due to support of associates of former president Musharraf. During his talks with a private TV channel, he quoted opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s statement that associates of former President Pervez Musharraf were also supporting PML-N: “did this imply that Punjab government survived with Musharraf ’s support?” he quizzed. He also expressed strong reservations over impartiality of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, who had been nominated by PML-N for the post of caretaker Prime Minister; since the killing of Nasir’s brother-in-law had been blamed on President Zardari. “If Nasir Aslam Zahid is to be made a prime minister, PML-N might as well support his success in general election,” he demanded. “While another PML-N nominee for caretaker prime minister, Rasool Bakhsh Palejo’s son Ayaz Latif Palejo was PPP’s bitter rival in Sindh,” he said, (also) rejecting Rasool Bakhsh Palejo’s nomination by PML-N. Expressing annoyance over PML-N’s rejection of PPP’s nominations for caretaker Prime minister , he also rejected the deadlock over the issue of caretaker Prime minister, who would be selected according to Constitution, and in consensus with other political parties. ONLINE

Sale of unhygienic meat continues unchecked RAWALPINDI: Butchers in the city are jeopardising the people’s health by selling unhealthy and unhygienic meat while the practice goes on unchecked as the officials concerned are reluctant to take any action against the blatant violations of health and hygiene standards. Though the local administration has fixed prices of different commodities in the markets, there exists no solid mechanism to check quality of meat and its retail price at shops, said the consumers while complaining about the issue of unsafe meat being sold in the city. They alleged that most of the butchers injected water into the meat to increase its weight, adding that the butchers were selling unhygienic meat in almost all the areas of the town, particularly in the poor and backward ones. Meanwhile, people are suffering from several diseases, especially blood pressure and hepatitis, due to the use of unsafe meat. ONLINE

LAHORE: People standing near world’s biggest bouquet (25 feet high) which was made using 3.5 tonnes of flowers.

ONLINE

PML-N says PPP-led govt set records of corruption 

Peaceful transfer of power to be political victory for Zardari, says US media

ISLAM ABAD: Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz Secretary Information of Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said that the PPP-led government “has set record of corruption in its five-year term”. In a statement issued here on Sunday, he said that PPP caused inflation by printing the currency notes worth of Rs 1.5 billion on daily basis and shambled the economy of the country. He reminded that during the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party, millions of people were dragged to live below poverty line due to inflation. The government which claims for “Roti Kapra Aur Makan” has ruined the masses and people were forced to attempt suicides, Mushahid maintained. The PML-N information secretary mentioned that trade deficit increased to $14.66 billion and investment has lessened to only Rs 500 million. It has been proved that PPP has no vision and agenda to make the country prosperous state,

he added. He said that PML-N is the only hope of masses having good working team and clear policy to address the problems of people. Meanwhile, The New York Times has said that a peaceful transfer of power to a new government would be a political victory for President Asif Ali Zardari who has confounded regular predictions of the demise of his government over the past five years. The US media on Sunday given prominent coverage to the completion of five-year term by Pakistan's democratically elected government and lauded the policies of President Zardari for the historic achievement. The Christian Science Monitor said President Zardari has shown a remarkable ability to hold together a warring coalition government whose members threaten to quit every few months or so. He has also managed a balance between the need for US assistance amid a deteriorating relationship between the two countries and rising anti-American sentiment.

The Wall Street Journal said the precedent of a civilian government completing its term‚ and peacefully handing over power to the opposition‚ should strengthen Pakistan's democracy. ONLINE

LAHORE: An application against Aamna Taseer, wife of ex-Govvernor Salman Taseer, for alleged embezzlement of Rs 1.54 billion is false, said her counsel on Sunday. While talking to the this scribe, Aamna’s counsel said that the court of Additional District Judge, Lahore, took up the proceedings on Shaan Taseer's application for registration of a criminal case against Aamna for alleged embezzlement of Rs. 1.54 billion from a company. Barrister Haroon Duggal represented Aamna Taseer in court and said that the application filed by Shaan Taseer against Aamna Taseer is false and frivolous, and has only been filed with intent to harass and blackmail Mrs. Taseer and to target her unblemished reputation. The application is directly complicating and delaying the release of her son Shahbaz Taseer, who was kidnapped in August 2011 and is currently still being held in captivity,is was stated. “To do so is in their best interest, as they wish to take control of the companies in Shahbaz's absence,” he added. Duggal added that due to the fact that Shaan Taseer had lost an overseas litigation initiated against Aamna Taseer, his urgency to win cases in Pakistan was fuelled. Duggal said that he will apprise the court of true facts at the next hearing, which was adjourned till 21 March. ONLINE

Ejaz Chaudhry elected PTI Punjab president LAHORE: Ejaz Chaudhry, the candidate of the Ideological Panel, was elected as president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ’s Punjab chapter after defeating Unity Panel’s strong contender Ahsan Rasheed in intra-party election held here at Aiwan-i-Iqbal on Sunday. According unofficial results, Ejaz Chaudhry’s panel has swept the polls as Dr Yasmin Rashid defeated Faraz Chaudhry to become the party’s general secretary in Punjab. Later a number of PTI supporters took to the streets and danced and distributed sweets to show their happiness at the results of the polls. Ejaz Chaudhry while addressing his workers said that it was the PTI supporters’ success, adding that the democracy will be strengthened in the country by giving right to party workers to elect their leader. ONLINE

Percentage of out-of-school children highest in poorest LAHORE: Many poor families in Pakistan are not able to send their children to school because of poverty and the highest percentage of out-of-school children (46 percent) is among the poorest of poor families. A recent survey by Research Associates at ASER Pakistan on “Disparities in education along socio-economic lines in Pakistan” portrayed disparities in enrolment according to types of schools and learning levels according to wealth status. Huma said that learning levels of children are directly related to their wealth status. The survey said that the poorest have the lowest learning levels (16 percent Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto, 15 percent English and 14 percent Math) and the richest have

the highest learning levels (42pc/Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto, 42 pc English and 38pc Math). The households with better wealth status are able to spend significantly more on their children’s education improving their opportunities for better schooling. The survey further revealed that the difference in learning levels for both males and females across different quintiles. “The learning levels of males and females improve as we move from the poorest quintile to the richest quintile. The highest learning levels of females are seen in the richest quintile across the three competency levels (41pc Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto, 40pc English and 36pc Mathematics)”. ONLINE

LAHORE: The ad mania has not even left these tent-houses of the Joseph Colony victims. ONLINE

Sufi music night at Arts Council

70 challans issued in anti-encroachment drive

OUR STAFF REPORTER

RAWALPINDI: The Cantt Board has launched operation against encroachers in different areas and issued challans against 70 shopkeepers and confiscated two loaded trucks. Under the supervision of the encroachment in-charge Fiaz Ahmed Khan, the anti-encroachment administration launched operation in Masrial Road and Allabad and confiscated two trucks of loaded counters and hand driven carts. Meanwhile, they also launched operation in Peshawar road and Kashmir road and issued challan against 70 shopkeepers. ONLINE

RAWALPI NDI : The Rawalpindi Arts Council has organised a Sufi musical night, featuring folk singer Qurban Ali Niazi and his companions. The stunning performance of the singer held the audience spellbound. Qurban Niazi was accorded a gold medal on the occasion to pay tribute to his services for the promotion of Sufi music. Senator Najma Hameed and MPA Raja Muhammad Hanif were guests of honour for the evening.

LAHORE: A woman captures a dog in her camera while a small boy looks at it during the Dog Show at Racecourse Park. ONLINE

Japan Embassy Consular Toshikazu Isomura, Naheed Manzoor and RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed were also present on the occasion. On the occasion, Senator Najma said that the holding of such musical nights was the best way to promote the message of tolerance and brotherhood given by Sufi poets. She said the Sufi poets have depicted the true essence of the culture in their poetry. MPA Hanif said that he was pleased to be present at the occasion and

was thankful to the Rawalpindi Arts Council for organising this event and he hoped that such functions would be held in future as well so to spread the message of Sufi poets. Naheed Manzoor said that the Sufi poets were messengers of peace and love and they represent the true face of the society. “Sufi poets promoted tolerance in a complex society centuries ago and now our society needs same message and spirit because intolerance is on the rise,” she added.


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Govt acting on multi-pronged policy in FATA PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has said that rehabilitation and development activities, alongside efforts for maintenance of peace in FATA, will go ahead simultaneously. Talking to two separate delegations of elders, one each from Kurram and Orakzai agencies, which called on him at Governor’s House on Sunday, he said that the law and order situation in FATA was now far better when compared to the past and would further improve with the passage of time. The governor also mentioned launching of natural gas supply project at Darra Adam Khel, which would lead to launch of similar schemes for other tribal agencies and frontier regions. The delegation from Kurram Agency, comprising elders of Massozai Tribe was led by an ex-MNA Haji Munir Khan Orakzai, particularly requested for providing staff for the Sub-Treasury Office of the State Bank of Pakistan and establishment of a passport office at Sadda. The elders of internally dislocated tribes, hailing from Ghiljo and other areas of Orakzai Agency, who are presently housed in Ali Khel, Hangu, Astarzai, Mitha Khel and other parts of Hangu district requested the governor to help them in getting them properly registered IDPs. They also requested to ensure their early repatriation and rehabilitation. The delegation was led by Wasi Said and Laiq Hussain. Responding to various demands, the governor said that hectic efforts were underway to further streamline the ongoing arrangements for rehabilitation of the internally dislocated people of FATA and they would find better and amicable circumstances in making revival of their normal life. On establishment of passport office and provision of staff for the Treasury Office of the State Bank of Pakistan at Sadda of Kurram Agency are concerned, the governor said that the respective authorities would be approached to create possibility for making this possible at the earliest. Meanwhile, talking to different delegations of tribal elders and youth from Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber and FR Peshawar, Shaukat said a proposal to strengthen the vocational training institutes working in different tribal agencies was under the active consideration and it is his utmost effort to enable the youth of FATA to get them equipped with skills in latest technologies. Similarly, he added, he had already taken initiative to enhance amount of merit scholarships for the students of higher secondary and higher educational institutions. –ONLINE

‘People’s Party gave tribesmen right to vote’ OUR STAFF REPORTER GHALANAI: “Tribesmen have trust in the PPP and that is why a large number of them were joining in the party. The PPP has always highlights the tribesmen problems on each platform.” This was stated by Mohmand Agency PPP President Dr Farooq Afzal, PPP Tehsil Ekkaghound President Ihsanullah Advocate, PPP Haleemzai President Fazal-e-Hadi and tribal elders including Malik Sohbat Khan, Malik Nasim Dado Khel, Malik Adam Khan and others during a public gathering at Halkai Ghandow on Sunday. They claimed that the PPP had taken a number of steps for development of tribal region. “For first time in the history, the PPP had given the right to vote to the tribesmen. He said that the Mohmand Agency was facing a lot of problems like health, education and others facilities. He expressed grave concern that none of the elected parliamentarian resolved the basic issues of tribesmen. “Political leaders make claims and also promises with people, but I am not included in their list,” Farooq Afzal and claimed that the PPP would clean sweep the upcoming election. PPP Ekkaghound General Secretary Ashraf Ali and workers also showed grave concern on the prolong power outages in the area and said WAPDA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to resolve the issue.

PTI polls postponed after hooliganism in Mohmand Rival groups exchanged harsh words Unidentified armed men snatch away ballot boxes FAUZEE KHAN MOHMAND

G HAL ANAI: The intra-party elections of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday were postponed for an unspecified period after exchange of harsh words between two rival groups at the main polling station in Mohmand tribal region. In Mohmand Agency, the PTI have two groups in which one group represent Sajid Khan and the other Malik Dawood Khan. Both the groups strongly criticised each other after the incident and accused of disturbing the process.

It is pertinent mention that there are 11,000 registered PTI workers who will cast vote for the agency office bearers. For the slot of agency president, Sajid Khan and Iftikhar Ahmad submitted their applications. For this purpose only one polling station were established in the Ghalanai Sports stadium, which was later shifted to Chanda Degree College. Malik Dawood Khan, who is the son of former senator Abdul Wahid and cousin of ex-MNA Malik Bilal Rehman and Senator Malik Hailal Rehman, also applied for PTI from the NA-36,

Tribal Areas Mohmand Agency. An election committee member Irshad Ahmed Advocate told newsmen that the polling for intraparty elections in progress in a peaceful manner when workers belonging to rival PTI groups entered the polling station and broken the ballot box and stole ballot papers. “More than 100 votes were polled before the incident,” Irshad Ahmad said. He said later the political tehsildar visited the polling station and all the ballot boxes were shifted to the political administration

ATTOCK: To fight street crimes in Attock, the police have established Tiger Force for the city. According to the details, the city has been divided into ten beats in which four police constables will petrol on two motorcycles and check crimes. On noticing any untoward incident, they will inform their higher authorities on wireless. A prompt action will be taken on receiving any information regarding crime from the Tiger Force and police officers will reach immediately on the spot. The Tiger Force will also responsible to control street crimes such as mobile snatching, robberies, motorcycle and car thefts. They will also petrol around the banks, shopping centres, hospitals and wedding halls to tackle the rising crimes in the area.

between the rival groups. We had provided foolproof security to these PTI workers.” He further said after the exchange of harsh words between the two rival groups, the additional political agent ordered him to postpone the elections to avert any possible clash and control the situation because of the security point of view. “After the exchange of harsh words, I tried to convince the rival groups for restarting the polling but one of them was not ready to do so,” Shamsul Islam added.

Seraiki nationalists all praise for PPP Say it has made sincere effort to create a new province Criticises PML-N over its stance ATHAR LASHARI

MULTAN: The Seraiki nationalist parties on Sunday announced to support the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for its effort to creating a province in south Punjab. The chairman of Pakistan Seraiki Party Taj Langah at a press conference in Rahim Yar Khan said, “We appreciate the PPP’s efforts to highlight our issue. We are demanding a province which covers the entire Seraiki belt according to geographic boundaries. I think the PPP is the only party who support us,” Langah said. He added that the PML-N was an open enemy of the Seraiki people and their rights. ”We think had the PML-N supported the PPP for the south Punjab or Seraiki province, there would have been problem in creating a new province.” The Seraiki Lok Party also praised the efforts of PPP’s government for establishing the new province.”For the first time, the Seraiki issue is raised at the national level by the biggest political party of the country. We are thankful to the PPP for highlighting our demand,”

Mazhar Nawaz Khan, the president of Seraiki Lok Party told media persons. He further said all the Seraiki parties and people should be thankful to the PPP for fighting a battle with Nawaz League for them. “Nawaz Sharif aims at creating a mini Punjab in the Seraiki belt which is not possible,” he claimed. The chairman of Seraiki Department at Islamia University Bahawalpur, Dr Javed Chandio, opined that the Seraiki or south Punjab province was also benefit Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. “The big Punjab is usurping the rights of other provinces and the Seraikis. The time has come to divide Punjab,” he noted. Chandio adding that if PPP had any political pressure on the name of new province, than there was no problem. ”The Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab province’s bill has been passed by the Senate. It is a great achievement of PPP and the matter enjoys support from many other parties as well,” Dr Javed added. “This is a long political process, but we are now about to reach our destination with the support of PPP.” On the other hand, a

seminar was arranged by Seraikistan Qaumi Ittehad (SQI) at Multan Press Club. Khawaja Ghulam Fareed Koreeja, the SQI chairman, in his address said the PML-N opposed the Seraiki province. “We are still demanding a Seraiki province which covers the 23 districts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s DI Khan and Tank districts,” he repeated the demand. Koreeja also criticised the PPP for compromising on the name of Seraiki province. “We believe that the PPP faced immense pressure on the name of new province but our demand is a linguistic and culture-based Seraiki province,” he added. Another national party Seraiki Lok Saanjh also criticised the PMLN’s role. “In its every tenure, the PML-N neglected the Seraiki belt and people. They are serious for a new province but it is a mini Punjab in the shape of Bahawalpur,” Ashiq Buzdar, the chairman of Seraiki Lok Saanjh and the writer of famous book Asaan Qaidi Takht Lahore Dy. “At a time when elections are not far away, the entire Seraiki belt understands the negative role of PML-N. They are ready to oppose Punjab in the coming elections.”

No objection to talks with Taliban, says corps commander MALAM JABBA: Peshawar Corps Commander Lt General Khalid Rabbani has said that the Army has no objection over dialogue with Taliban and the political leadership of the country would decide the matter. He expressed these views while talking to media at the Swat Snow festival 2013 on Sunday. “Wherever Army operated, it was directed by the political leadership,” he mentioned. While talking about the role of army in forthcoming elections, he assured that army would fully cooperate with Election Commission of Pakistan and provide security in the sensitive areas during the elections according to the constitution. Rabbani said that Army has no reservations regarding dialogues with Taliban and the

political leadership would also finalize the decision of operation in North Waziristan Agency. The corps Commander said that situation in FATA is under control except little bit areas of Khyber and North Waziristan agencies, political forces did not contact yet regarding military operation against Taliban. Meanwhile, addressing the farewell ceremony of Swat Snow Festival, 2013, he said that people of Swat and army together fought against the terrorists and restored peace in the area. He said that political leadership and local administration should not allow anybody to disrupt the peace of Swat. Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani also distributed prize among the winners of skating and paragliding. –AGENCIES

QUETTA: A rally organised by Pashtunkhwa Students Organisation on Sunday to demand education for all. Pakistan has been unable to provide education to all its citizens, while rising militancy is complicating the affairs, especially for women. –ONLINE

Sheikh asks people to wake up

OUR STAFF REPORTER AT TOCK : Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rashid on Sunday said it was high time for the people to wake up, as the coming generations would not pardon them. “The incumbent rulers broke all the records of corruption,” he added Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said this while addressing a gathering at village Mirza. He alleged that the corrupt rulers departments kept open all the offices on a holiday for making around two thousand recruitments in different departments, which was a violation of the rules. He said the last address of Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf was a pack of lies and urged the people to elect honest leadership and reject the corrupt who were responsible for bringing the country on the verge of destruction and bankruptcy. He criticised the federal minister for railways for destroying the organisation and also condemned the Joseph Colony incident and alleged that all this happened because of the land mafia. He said Pakistan would only be put on track when youth of the country would play their vital role.

IED defused in Mohmand OUR STAFF REPORTER

Attock gets Tiger Force OUR STAFF REPORTER

office in the security custody, while the polling was postponed. He further said, “Later, we left Peshawar, but when reached in the Karapa area of Pandilai tehsil some unidentified persons stopped our vehicles and snatched away all the ballot boxes.” When contacted, Political Tehsildar Haleemzai Shamsul Islam said thousands of PTI workers came for intra-party elections. “We were trying to discipline them but there was complete chaos, as we failed in our efforts because of the differences

HYDERABAD: Peasant women at work at a road construction site in Latifabad. Women, especially from minorities, are the preferred labourers in the interior Sindh and south Punjab because they can be hired for very low wages. –ONLINE

GHAL ANAI: Security forces defused an IED weighing 20 kg in the Sami Khel Nullah area of Haleemzai tehsil on Sunday, officials said. Security forces also conducted a search operation in the adjoining areas of Shani Khel and Sami Khelbut, but no suspects were arrested in the operation.

Bugtis not being registered as voters: Talal QUETTA: Jamhoori Watan (JWP) head Party Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti on Sunday said the members of Bugti tribe were not being registered as voters in the lists prepared by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which meant that around 0.25 million Bugtis would be deprived of their right of franchise. Instead, he said, registration of baseless cases and carrying out abductions had become a routine. Addressing a press conference at the Bugti House, he said that the Balochistan chief secretary had been directed by the Supreme Court to complete the rehabilitation and registration of Bugti refugees at earliest. But the chief secretary was speedily removed from his post. He also said that he had also written to the chief election commissioner for rehabilitation of Bugti refugees at the earliest, but instead baseless cases were being filed against these

Bugti refuges, who were also being abducted. He cited one such case of Hydrabad’s Khudadad Town, from where four Bugtis were kidnapped. He also expressed his concerns over the unacceptable caretaker setup in Balochistan, which was being forced on the orovince, against the will of both masses and polity. Deliberating over the All Parties Conference, he said that this was being arranged to rectify the rulers, in order to avoid another debacle like that of 1971; waning that if the rulers failed to rectify themselves, foreign diplomats would be consulted for amelioration of situation.Condemning the March 17, 2005 killing of Akbar Bugti, he said that the JWP would mourn the occasion and keep its flag lowered, along with organising Quranic recitations and distribution of free food for general public. –AGENCIES

Talal Akbar Bugti talking to media at his residence. –ONLINE

Child killed as roof collapses OUR STAFF REPORTER JAMRUD: A minor child was killed after the roof of a house collapsed in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, official and local sources told on Monday. According to the details, the incident took place in Bakarabad village where the house of a local tribesman named Rashid Khan suddenly caved in because of heavy rain on the weekend. As a result, his five-year-old son was injured and rushed to the nearest hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Soldiers death mourned in Gilgit-Baltistan SABIR AHMAD GI LGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government observed a day of mourning on Sunday, a day after at least 25 army officials, including a lieutenant colonel, were killed in a road accident in the Kohistan area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. “We are grieved over the loss of lives of our soldiers and officers in a tragic road accident in Kohistan,” said a statement issued by the

government of Gilgit–Baltistan on behalf of Chief Minister Mehdi Shah. It further said that the flag would officially remain lowered on Sunday. The soldiers belonged to the Northern Areas Light Infantry (NLI) and were returning from Swat to Gilgit-Baltistan on vacations when the tragedy occurred. The dead bodies flown to Gilgit on Saturday were buried with full military honour in their respective areas on Sunday. The accident

occurred when a bus, bearing registration number PWO 737, fell into ravine known as ‘Sumar Nullah’ in Kohistan district, about 300 kilometres from Gilgit. “The bus was heading to Gilgit via Karakoram Highway when it met the accident after apparently the driver lost control over the vehicle,” police in Chilas control room said. The dead bodies were flown by an army chopper to Gilgit. According to officials, 17 of the deceased belonged

to Gilgit-Baltistan’s district Ghizer alone, while the remaining were from other valleys including Hunza, Skardu and Gilgit. The drivers, one of them identified as Aman, have also died in the accident. Lt Col Ikramul Haq, who was also among the martyred, belonged to Gilgit-Baltistan’s Hunza valley. He was commanding the NLI regiment. The list issued by ISPR in this connection includes Lt Col Ikramul Haq Naib Subedar Sher Dad,

Havaldar Rauf, Havaldar Jameel, Havaldar Abu Tali, Naik Khush Wali, Lance Naik Ghulam Rasool, Sepoy Inayat, Sepoy Rahim Shah, Sepoy Sher Wali, Sepoy Ijaz, Sepoy Sardar, Sepoy Nadir Aman, Sepoy Shakir, Sepoy Muhammad Ali, Sikandar (Cook), Sepoy Muhammad Khan, Sepoy Rehmat Hakim, Sepoy Sadir, Sepoy Saeed Alam, Sepoy Israr Alam, Sepoy Ali Baig, Sepoy Basharat, Sepoy Gul Wali and Sepoy Akhtar.


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

THE SPOKESMAN

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 ce@thespokesman.pk

The violence of words The words used to describe the highly sensitive incident of mob violence in Joseph Colony exhibit nothing but insensitivity. Commentators encompassing both sides of the debate are expressing a casual, ruthless and insensitive selection of words IMDAD HUSSAIN ‘Words’ Axes After whose stroke the wood rings, And the echoes! —Sylvia Plath

Prime Minister’s swansong A couple of hours before the dissolution of National Assembly on completion of its five-year term, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf delivered his farewell address to the nation. He recounted the PPPled government’s achievements, and also praised the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their valour with which they had defended the national frontiers and established the government's writ in terror infested parts of the country. At the same time, he criticised anti-democratic forces and said ‘the door to enter into power through might has been permanently shut and now no one can topple a democratically elected government’. One can infer from this statement that he meant the military, as only the military can enter into power through the use of force. Earlier, the prime minister had also said ‘if democracy is threatened or imperiled in the country, the entire political leadership across the board would unite to defend it’. He made it sound as if the fact that the military had desisted from intervening in the affairs of governance had anything to do with PPP or its conduct in office. Whereas, much of the credit for the completion of the PPP term goes to the Supreme Court, the media and the army itself rather than those posing to be the champions of democracy. Even today, if the democracy project collapses, no one else will be responsible for it than the leadership across the political spectrum. Those self-righteously projecting themselves to be the guardians of this moth-eaten democracy, which in reality is a patent plutocracy, have yet to understand the time-tested recipe for the durability of a true democratic order. It is the vested interest of the mass of the people in the system that sustains democracy and lends it power and longevity. The present ruling elite has miserably failed to make the prevalent system respond to public interest. Clearly, this is due to the lack of interest for any such thing on the part of the plutocrats. The masses want economic opportunities, jobs and livelihoods, security and a better future for themselves and their children. In fact, there is a complete dichotomy between the outlooks of the leadership and the public. The political elite is elated about constitutional reforms it undertook and calls it the best thing that ever happened to this country. But the average citizens are untouched by these reforms that have not translated into making their lives any better. People are passing through harder times than they had ever experienced before. The independence of the judiciary, a free media and other positive signs might deliver in due course, but for people who are being pushed to poverty, they do not provide the relief that they need. Although the elite everywhere is far removed from the people, in Pakistan this privileged lot is completely disconnected from the masses. These leaders speak an idiom that is not understood on the street. They champion causes that are not even remotely related to the pain and anguish of their less-privileged fellow citizens. The elite are thus playing to a gallery not of what we call the common man, but of the affluent and the prosperous segments of the middle class. In their comfort zones, the privileged love to talk about the freedom of the press and independence of judiciary. They appreciate the granting of provincial autonomy and more funds to the provinces under the National Financial Commission award. That may be fine – but it is not enough. What people really need is an end to the exploitative system lorded over by a small minority of landed aristocracy, tribal sardars and chieftains and the super-rich.

Jesus: By the sword I don't mean a sharp-edged thing. It's a figure of speech. John: But if you set a man against his father It may lead to a sharp-edged iron thing. Think of how people use words... —Edwin Morgan Words are important: they heal, they wound, they inflict, they inspire. A cautious use of words is critically important since the careless use of words, especially the big and loaded ones, can inflict severe harm sometimes. The words used to describe the highly sensitive incident of mob violence in Joseph Colony exhibit nothing but insensitivity. Commentators encompassing both sides of the debate are expressing a casual, ruthless and insensitive selection of words in their pseudo provocative, rhetorical and detective-type insight on this deeply troubling incident. A statement of civil society reported on 11 March 2013 in Daily Times illustrates this insensitivity. It says: ‘This is a New Republic of Hatred, Violence, Intolerance, Vigilante Mob rule, Militant Jihadism, Extremism and Talibanization, where neither Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis, Shias/Hazaras are safe; nor are Muslim women and girls; nor are schools, mosques, imam bargahs, churches or temples; where there is no rule of law or fundamental human rights.’ An analysis of this passage reveals the inherent biases. All negative words are capitalized and made to act against the non-Muslims of Pakistan. Muslim women and girls, Shias/Hazaras qualify as victims but not Muslim boys and men. What about Muslim men and boys, and what about all nonShias/Hazaras? Why do only some identity groups qualify as victims? Have the structures of violence in place in Pakistan not injured every other soul? Why then are loaded words used to construct selected identity groups as victims? Can people be separated as neatly with the help of words as this statement implies? It is not possible. Bhagat Kabir said: ‘Kabir says, how to work it out—I, he, you?’ Loaded words,

compact pocket dynamite statements, sharpen the divisions between people and depict differences as enmities. Compare civil society’s eloquent statement with the counter-narrative published in the Urdu newspaper Nai Baat on 10 March 2013. Joseph Colony was an illegal drugs supplier, according to the narrative. The drugs supplied here killed many young people, which caused people to torch the colony. The committing of blasphemy by one of the drug suppliers triggered the torching. In fact, the accuser and the accused of blasphemy were drinking buddies. The writers claim that denominational mobs in the past were motivated by the acts of blasphemy. Implicitly, the reporters have shown neutrality about the torching of Joseph Colony. Both the civil society statement and Nai Baat feature used words carelessly, presenting their subjective analysis as vivid conclusions. Contrary to these two positions, the early reports on Joseph Colony pointed to land grabbing plans behind the torching. Asian Human Rights

1954 to enquire into the Punjab disturbances of 1953 reported on page 158: ‘As the day [5 March 1953] advanced, incident after incident began to happen, involving attacks on the police and the Ahmadis and the looting and burning of property belonging to Government or to the Ahmadis’. It further noted on page 166: ‘Property of the Ahmadis that was looted or burnt that day [6 March 1953] included Pak Rays, Shafa Medical, Orsuco, Musa and Sons’ shop, the Rajput Cycle Works, the godowns and timber yards of Malik Muhammad Tufail and Malik Barkat Ali, the house of Malik Abdur Rahman on Mason Road, five Ahmadi houses on Mozang and Temple Roads, including that of Sheikh Nur Ahmad, Advocate’. The structures of violence in 1953 were clearly linked with looting property and not religious zeal. The condemners and commentators of Joseph Colony tragedy should watch the film The Great Debater to learn about the ethics of resistance. The film fictionalises the true story of Professor Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Tolson teaches his students to develop arguments to promote equality between blacks and whites. This was a time when blacks were not allowed to attend colleges with whites. In these circumstances, he advised his students: ‘Your words are like weapons’. He also advised: ‘Debate is combat, your weapons are words’. The black students mentored by him won the debate competition at Harvard, which heralded the move towards white and black equality. The central message of the Tolson story is that great battles can be fought and won with the help of words. Contrary to this, in Pakistan, some to the material benefits gained through people at the right and at left have land and property; two, the skill of become symbiotic ideological enemies identifying and mobilising violenceby pointing fingers, aspersing curses, performing mobs and their planned mobilisation; three, those connected to and nurturing self-fulfilling ideological assumptions. They and familiar with speedy mobilisation of the mobs; four, a quick identification interpret such habits as virtual resistance, which I think is no less an of mob hysteria as driven by religious absurdity. This makes both political passion; five, portraying moral or positions equally lamentable. It is due religious issues as real causes to stir to this habit of finger pointing that the moral anxiety, and six, violence as simple case of land grabbing has been embedded in State institutions since turned into an issue of religious war. the mob managers and organisers Resistance should involve political worked in complicity with state action which is emancipatory of institutions. possibilities, non-partisan in Some of these features of the expression and sufficiently factual in structures of violence are recurrent at other times and places in the history of constitution. This kind of positioning needs to Pakistan. The pattern of mob violence change. against the Ahmadi in 1953 was propagated as religious passion due to THE WRITER IS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR some covert political and property interests. The court of inquiry AT FORMAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, constituted under Punjab Act II of LAHORE In the meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan, while hearing the case, made very useful observations. The court was interested in knowing the link between torching and land grabbing. The evacuation of house a day before the torching intrigued the SC. Why did the police ask people to evacuate? In its interim order on 12 March 2013, the SC categorically announced, ‘prima facie, the Punjab IG police, CCPO and city police officer failed in providing protection to the people. Different stories are being told to the court that election was being held in Loha market and a Christian committed blasphemy during the elections. It is beyond the comprehension of the court how can the inmates of Joseph Colony be linked to Loha market’. On 13 March 2013, the SC regarded Inspector General of Police responsible for not preventing the mob torching. Tracking different stories, the characteristics of structure of violence may be framed. In my view, these structures of violence are: one, linked

The early reports on Joseph Colony pointed to land grabbing plans behind the torching. Asian Human Rights Commission explicitly lamented that land grabbers had orchestrated the event as it is described by the residents’ narratives published on 11 March 2013 in the Urdu newspaper Express Commission explicitly lamented that land grabbers had orchestrated the event as it is described by the residents’ narratives published on 11 March 2013 in the Urdu newspaper Express. The residents reported that ‘the factory owners wanted to grab their land.’ The factory owners offered compensations to the residents which they rejected for being too low. An English newspaper report on 10 March regarded police insensitivity to the matter as a reason behind the torching. By 12 March, everything had changed as the torching of Joseph Colony was constructed as a Muslim-Christian War, thanks to the zeal of commentators, condemners and analysts for their lucid descriptions. The myth of Muslims as violent people has been reinforced. The mob managers, i.e., alleged land grabbers, were the biggest beneficiaries of this religious framing of the matter.

France and UK are arming militants to their own peril PROF. RODNEY SHAKESPEARE

The UK Independent newspaper reports that over one hundred young jihadist men have gone to Syria from the UK and the number is rising

The incredible news is that UK Foreign Minister William Hague and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius are openly stating that, despite an EU embargo, they will be arming the militants in Syria. Together with the Saudis, Qataris and Turks, the UK and France are now right in there playing the sectarian card, abetting atrocities, and furthering civil war in every way that they can. At the same time, the UK security agencies are complaining that jihadist youths, soon to be armed by the UK and France, are streaming to Syria where they will be getting military experience. On their return to the UK, battlehardened and bitter, they will be about as dangerous a group as could ever be imagined. Even worse, the sending of arms to the militants in Syria is happening at a time when the most extreme elements in Syria (i.e. the throat-slitters) are getting the upper hand over the so-called “moderate” elements (those who only use guns with which to shoot captured

Poverty around the globe Greed, and its ‘sister’ theft, have collectively destroyed any semblance of peace in our world. Amazingly, the perpetrators are people who are financially healthy — in no real need of excesses. Historically, the world has

prisoners and civilians). The UK Independent newspaper reports that over one hundred young jihadist men have gone to Syria from the UK and the number is rising. And, just as that is announced, so the UK and French governments announce that they will be sending arms to the jihadists! ‘Oh no we’re not!’ cry the governments, after first claiming that they are trying to solve the situation peacefully, ‘we’re only sending arms to the “moderate” fighters who are good people who can be trusted.’ Really? Trusted to shoot civilians or trusted to slit their throats? Or perhaps by “trusted” the governments mean people who will not be attacked by jihadist elements who will capture their weapons. Indeed, the UK government is claiming that, by arming the “moderates”, the extremists will be defeated. But the opposite is happening: already the “moderates” and the extremists are fighting each

never seen such outrageous wealth owned by a miniscule percentage of the uber-rich — and, conversely, so much poverty! In a world that has managed to end global wars, racism, and certain lifethreatening diseases, it has hopelessly failed in upgrading the conditions of those below the subsistence line! Sponsoring world summits, the G2O’s, environmental conferences — all just for cosy get-togethers, photo sessions and sumptuous dinners — and pledges to clean up the mess! But, poverty still reigns! The poverty of the past was not deliberately enforced — wars, famine, bad crops, unsustainable governments, mass unemployment, etc. Today, global poverty is an enforced phenomenon, as if the permanent destitution of some countries suits the rich — their solicitations for funds yielding massive donations, and much of it channeled through a few who use corrupt means to amass this wealth! AFTAB SHEIKH ISLAMABAD

other with the extremists winning because they are backed by huge amounts of money and arms coming from the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. So Britain and France, defying international law, are supplying arms (and trying to persuade the rest of Europe to supply arms) because they think there is an effective difference between throat slitters and straightforward murderers. But there isn’t. They’re much the same. The Independent, for example, has come across fighters who declare themselves on the “moderate” side today only to turn up with the extreme jihadists a week later. Moreover, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, saying that the UK and French action is ‘a flagrant breach of international law’, has pointed out that, in practice, any weapons are likely to end up with the extremists and that the USA has even declared one of the jihadist groups (Jabhat al-Nusra) to be a terrorist

Countering rape

organisation. The JAN is one of the groups using children as human shields. Of course, the British action in sending arms might be explained by saying that the UK always ensures that arms go to Arab governments who make due payment except that, in this case, the arms (all £13 million worth) are being sent to the roaming death squads for free. UK Foreign Minister William Hague and French Minister Fabius think they are being clever by giving arms to killers without ever asking what might be the consequences. However, to be fair, the Saudis also think they are being clever by giving arms and money to the death squads. For a start, the squads are fuelled by Saudi Wahhabi ideology and it must never be forgotten that Osama Bin Laden’s number one enemy was the Saudi regime itself (and the Americans were only number two). Secondly, the Saudis are Zionists. Although they claim that they are not, everybody knows

Human rights activists in almost all countries plead death for rapists and most of the countries, like India, have already included capital punishment After a series of gang-rape incidents in their criminal procedural laws. Of across India, President Pranab late there had been critical debate in Mukherjee has approved the ordinance on sexual assault, which has the western media questioning the the provision of death penalty for cases death penalty to a rapist in Islam, calling it cruel and against the human of rape that lead to the victim’s death or push her into a persistent vegetative rights. But given the intensity of this crime, the same human rightists have state. The ordinance sought to treat now come to the similar conclusion such case as a crime belonging to the that even one count of capital “rarest-of-rare” category for which courts can award death punishment if punishment is not enough. Unfortunately, for the last five years they so decide. For such cases, the there had been no executions despite ordinance proposes a minimum courts awarding death penalties. sentence of 20 years which can be Hundreds of criminals have not been extended to imprisonment until the hanged including those involved in natural life of the convict, or death. acts of terrorism. There had been a The changed law will now treat campaign by the world HR bodies for voyeurism, stalking, disrobing of abolition of death penalty, in sharp women and acid attacks as specific offences under the Indian Penal Code. contrast to a rising demand that the Pakistan Parliament and subsequently The change will raise ‘eve-teasing’ from being considered a minor offence the President of Pakistan should to a serious crime attracting enhanced approve a law, emulating the Indian amendment in their penal laws so that punishment.

that they are, particularly because Saudi Arabia does nothing to stop the endless expansion of the Zionist entity. Which is well understood by the jihadists who know that the Saudis are Zionists. Consequently, in due course, the jihadists can be expected to bite the Zionist hand that feeds, and arms, them. So Saudi Arabia (which, perhaps more than any other country, is a political time bomb whose plutocratic barbarian rulers think they can withstand the march of history) is one day going to be attacked by the very Wahhabist philosophy it promotes and by the very jihadists it arms and finances. What about the UK? Will it be attacked? The UK security services are making it clear that they do not like the arming of irresponsible young men which, apart from the situation in Syria, will be creating a wave of battle-hardened jihadists in Britain.

the women as well as their honour and dignity are protected. MARIA MUFTI

Rupee plunge As rupee continues to plunge into obscurity, things are indeed looking bleak. Obviously the fact that exporters are holding back their export means that things would only get worse. Dollar is continuing to appreciate and rupee’s depreciating trend doesn’t look like halting any time soon. We need a lot of investment in our neck of the woods, and for that to happen we need to invite investment. With terrorism prevailing and other problems also engulfing our country, the available options for investors are already minimal. Add the fact that we aren’t even giving any incentives to them and you get a dead end. DILDAR HUSSAIN

(PRESSTV.IR)

Feedback from the web

Rape apologists Excellent article. India is bad too, may be not as bad as Pakistan. Both countries are so religious but still commit such crimes, And there is no law and order any way, especially in Pakistan. G M PATRA GMPATRA14@GMAIL.COM

Three heroes It’s a new form of criticism with praise. Malik saab it is a well written piece .Thanks for guiding us into seeing realities in a different form. MUNAWAR BUTT MUNAWARBUTT@MSN.COM

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


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

The Fed Cup experience Travelling to Kazakhstan with my team has been an experience of learning about people as much as it was about the game mutton. Having never tasted horse meat before, none of us were inclined to experiment. The food at the tennis facility did not exactly arouse our palates either. Soggy rice, bland pasta and oily soups were obviously not going to SABA AZIZ cut it for someone born and bred in Lahore, a city famous for its mouthwatering cuisine. We had Pakistan’s Fed Cup team went to to make do nevertheless and it freezing cold Astana earlier this was a heavy price I paid. Halfway year to take part in the into our second day, I caught a Asia/Oceania Zone, Group II bad stomach flu and a high fever. competition. It was the team’s Not the ideal preparation before third straight appearance in Fed Cup, after a long lapse of 11 years. our first tie, I must admit. Fortunately enough, I was treated I’ve been lucky enough to have by the “miracle worker” as I’d like been on the team for the past to call him, Dr. Ruslan. A funny, three years, and as my fellow pleasant, heavy man, he was team mates would concur, it is a onsite throughout the thrill each time. In an individual tournament. sport like tennis, the importance It took me three days of of team competition like Davis frequent visits to the medical Cup and Fed Cup has often been overshadowed by the hype around room before I was fit enough to Grand Slams and Masters Series, compete again. Pakistan lost their opening two ties against but it is a big deal nevertheless. Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia. The And why shouldn’t it be? You’re playing for your country after all. Indonesian girls were top quality but the Kyrgyzstan team relied on This year, our squad included, just one world class player, who apart from me, Ushna Suhail, singlehandedly carried her team Sara Mansoor, Iman Qureshi, through. With defeats in the first Nosheen Ihtesham (as the nontwo ties, the 3-0 win over Iran the playing captain), Inamul Haq (coach). Having gone through the following day felt like a mammoth achievement at the Fed Cup experience the past time. We had people from the couple of years, we had a fairly Pakistani embassy with the good idea of the format, the ambassador supporting us potential opponents, the routine courtside that day. The few etc. But nothing from our past Pakistani families settled in experiences had prepared us for Astana also dropped in to cheer the extreme weather conditions us on for the remainder of the we faced in the capital city of Kazakhstan. Averaging a lowly-10 week. It was a nice gesture. Moreover, the ambassador and degree Celsius throughout our stay there, the temperature, more the first secretary extended their kind hospitality by holding a than the tennis became a big fancy reception in the team’s talking factor for us. honour. Luckily, we came prepared or, The local Kazakh people were from the expressions of the onlookers, a bit over prepared. As generally warm and friendly, a departure from the general we would diligently wrap misconception about the “Soviet ourselves from head to toe with bloc”. Not very fluent in English, layers of warm clothing before more often than not we would see heading out, there was no them going out of their way to escaping the quizzical stares of help us out. Since we were busy the locals. Now that we recall, it was a funny sight to say the least. with practices and matches the whole week, we only got one day Fortunately enough, we were to properly explore the city. playing indoors. Quite a Covered entirely with thick, white spectacular, temperaturesnow there was a certain charm controlled indoor facility it was. about the city. At times, we felt Having already played indoors a like we were on the set of few times in Doha, I had an idea “Hunger Games”. Bold of what to expect. The ball tends to travel a bit quicker through the architecture, elaborate ice sculptures, loud colours and the air and, with no external largest mosque in Centre Asia, interference, the playing Astana had a lot to offer. conditions are pretty perfect. On the tennis side of things, However, it takes time to adjust there wasn’t a whole lot to cheer the eye to the closed about. We lost to Singapore, a surroundings and roof. I still team we had seen success against remember our first day at the last year, in the ninth to tenth practice courts. Coupled by the playoff. If anything, it was a stark tiredness from all the travelling, reminder that professional tennis the unfamiliar indoor setting threw us all off a bit. After a good is by no means child’s play. We returned home with some half hour of shanked balls and pleasant and some not so mishits, we finally started to feel pleasant memories, but on the at home. As a precursor of what followed whole it was an invaluable experience. So, another year gone for the most part of my trip, I by, another chapter in our Fed would like to mention the food Cup diary! here. Kazakh cuisine, as we discovered, predominantly THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER revolves around horse meat and

Subversion of the Karbala Narrative - III

Return to pre-Islamic Arab values Through an anti-patriarchal reading of the Quran and Hadith, feminist scholarship has challenged 'the archaeology of knowledge' SHEHAR BANO KHAN The gendered dimensions of the Karbala narrative privileging men over women is seen by feminist scholarship as an employment of another tool to restrict women's public mobility. Challenging normative traditions of scholarship is beset with dangers of heresy not to mention blasphemy. But some feminist scholars have interrogated restrictions imposed on Muslim women through traditional epistemological regimes by an antipatriarchal reading of the Quran and Hadith. Writing in Believing Women In Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations Of The Qur’an, Asma Barlas (2002) asserts that, the Quran is very clear on the simultaneous existence of a woman and a man. ‘In the Qur’an, men and women originate in the same Self, at the same time and in the same way… The Qur’an does not consider woman a type of man in the presentation of its major themes.’ Regarding the independence of a woman, Amina Wadud affirms in, Qur’an And Woman: Rereading The Sacred Text From A Woman’s Perspective (1999), that a woman is not required to obey her husband neither is obedience a mark of a ‘better woman’(1999: 77). Barlas’ interpretation is similar to Wadud’s when she writes that, ‘the Qur’an did not force even the wives of the Prophet to obey him, nor did he force obedience on them; nor, indeed, did he deal with marital discord by abusing or beating them.’ (Barlas, 2002: 187) The critically acclaimed works of Wadud and Barlas pose a challenge to the use of patriarchal hermeneutics to read Quran for the purpose of proving women’s inferior status to men. Riffat Hassan joins this textual challenge in her work titled, ‘Feminism In Islam’, from Young, K. Katherine, Sharma, A. (eds.), Feminism And World Religions,

(1999) by critiquing the hadith (sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad). For example, Hassan quotes Usama bin Zaid’s hadith attributed to Prophet Mohammad cited in Sahih Al-Bukhari, a compilation of major ahadith collections by Mohammd Ismail Bukhari. Zaid stated that the Prophet had warned people against the “affliction” known as a woman. He was cited in Sahih al-Bukhari to have assigned this hadith to Prophet Mohammad he had said that after his death the most harmful “affliction” to men was women. Hassan quotes another hadith attributed to the Prophet by Ibn Abbas in the same compilation. She writes that Ibn Abbas had reported Prophet Mohammad to have claimed that he had once looked into Paradise and saw that the majority of people were poor and the majority of those burning in the Fire were women. Hassan traces the allocation of the inferior status of women to the story of the creation of Hawwa (Eve) and suggests women to challenge the authenticity of ahadith. ‘Unless Muslim women return to the point of origin and challenge the authenticity of the ahadith (plural of hadith) that makes all representatives of their sex ontologically inferior and irremediably crooked, male-centered and malecontrolled Muslim societies are not at all likely to acknowledge the egalitarianism evident in the Qur’anic statements about human creation.’ (1999: 257) A clarification is required here to explain that the Shi’a and Sunni sects follow different ahadith. The majority of Sunni Muslims quote Sahih alBukhari as the most authentic set of ahadith after the Quran. The Shi’a, in contrast, believe that the only sources of authentic ahadith are those compiled by the family of Prophet Mohammad. A major source for Shi’a Muslims is Nahjul Balaghah, a collection of sermons and letters of Ali ibne Abi Talib, the first spiritual head (Imam) of the Shi’a.

Noteworthy here is the reduced status ascribed to women in both these sects. The majority of the Shi’a clerics quote Ali’s most famous hadith cited in the Nahjul Balaghah in which he has given three reasons why women are not men’s equal. The first is on account of their not praying during menstruation, the second is the testimony of two women is equal to one man and the third reason for women’s lower status is their share of inheritance which is half of a man’s. (Hosseini: 2002) In her book Religious Modernists And The “Woman Question”: Challenges And Complicities, (2002) Ziba Mir-Hosseini Hosseini writes that in January 1989 when this hadith was narrated by Abdolkarim Soroush, an Iranian religious scholar at Tehran’s Imam Sadeq’s mosque, a group of women protested who were harshly reprimanded by him for questioning the Imam’s views. Fatima Mernissi, an acclaimed feminist scholar, forms an important part of this analytical discourse on Muslim women’s subjectivity. Though Mernissi’s works on Islam and women from a feminist perspective does not revolve around the sectarian division of the roles of Shi’a and Sunni women, she explores the genealogy of women’s exclusion from politics since the time of Prophet Mohammad Mustafa. For example, when Mernissi criticises the establishment of the caliphate system after the death of Prophet Mohammad, in her work Hidden From History, Forgotten Queens Of Islam, (1993) she supports it by citing various ahadith which allude to a strict division of the public from the private sphere. She discusses at length how these spaces, created by installing a caliphate, strictly regulated the public and private sphere and ensured the exclusion of women from politics. Mernissi’s critique of the caliphate system is a reflection on the exclusion of Muslim women from governance. The caliphate system of governance

required a caliph, who by ‘definition was someone who deputised for someone else. He replaces the Prophet in his mission, which is to make it possible for the group to live according to religious laws… Not just anyone can claim to be a caliph; access to this privilege is subject to strict criteria’. (1993: 12) According to Mernissi (1990) it was the institution of the caliphate system, an exclusively masculine domain, which excluded women from political participation. Mernissi uses the domain of the first mosque in Islam, constructed by the Prophet in Medina, as a site of public space where politics was discussed. The idea of the mosque as a place of communitarian worship and direct contact with the head of the community for every Muslim based on non-gendered values was violated after the establishment of the first Umayyad caliphate by Mu’awiya (661-680 AD) and women were the first casualty of that change. ‘Nothing better expresses the betrayal of the Prophet in this matter than the attitude toward the access of women to mosques.’ (1993:80) ‘Women, who had the privilege of access to the mosque as Companions of the Prophet, very quickly became the polluting, evil being they had been in the pre-Islamic era.’ (1993:82-83) In Mernissi’s view, denying women access to the mosque is tantamount to barricading them from the political arena. Mernissi’s view also confirms that Muslim women were part of the public sphere and not excluded from the discussions taking place in the mosque at the time of Prophet Mohammad Mustafa. Despite evidence of Muslim women’s previous participation in the public sphere, specifically politics, the majority of contemporary Muslim women remains closed off from this possibility. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST

Brewing trouble in China’s neighbourhood NICK BOWIE

The present day scenario on the Korean peninsula is highly unpredictable and Beijing must act as the peacemaker

There is little doubt that civilians on both sides of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are weighed down with anxiety as both countries carry out provocative large-scale military drills amid threats of nuclear war. North Korea has recently announced that it will no longer abide by the UN-brokered armistice that ended the Korean War with a ceasefire in 1953 and authorities have severed its communications hotline with the South, the only diplomatic channel of contact between the two countries. Pyongyang has imposed no-fly and no-sail zones off both its coasts as part of comprehensive military drills that may see the test firing of short-to-medium range missiles. The US-South Korea joint command forces have launched their Foal Eagle field training exercises that will be ongoing until end of April. 200,000 South Korean troops and 10,000 US troops will take part in the exercise, which will include land, air, sea, and special operation drills. North Korea’s state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, has reported that the North’s army, navy, air force, and anti-aircraft units were “just waiting for the final order to attack.” Following Pyongyang’s recent threats that it would engage preemptive nuclear strikes against any aggressor, Seoul shot back with its strongest rhetoric yet, stating, “If North Korea attacks South Korea with a nuclear weapon, then by the will of the Republic of Korea and humanity, the Kim Jong-un regime will perish

from the Earth.” South Korea’s newly inaugurated President Park Geun-hye has been in office for less than one month and in the current scenario, it has become politically impossible for her to stick to her campaign pledges of taking a softer line on North Korea. Most of the time, the substance of North Korea’s threats do not materialize, much like last month’s pledge to take an immediate “physical response” to a barrage of UN sanctions. North Korea invokes a brutal historical narrative of war with the United States to legitimize its conduct in the present day – and indeed, North Korea is a victim of war crimes. Washington and its allies rained napalm over North Korea, destroying nearly all its cities and thousands of villages. A staggering four million Koreans and one million Chinese soldiers were killed – US military sources confirm that 20 percent of North Korea’s population was killed off, even that being a highly conservative figure. The statement released by the Rodong Sinmun reads: “In the 1980s the U.S. spurred the modernization of the nuclear hardware of its forces in South Korea. Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Ronald, speaking at a parliament, confessed that the U.S. shipped more than 1,000 nuclear weapons to South Korea and deployed 54 airplanes for carrying nuclear bombs. South Korea turned into the world’s biggest nuclear outpost with the stockpile of nuclear weapons such as bombs,

shells, warheads, land mines and carrier means as well as nuclear bases and arsenals. The U.S. nuclear threats were vividly manifested in its open declaration to use nuclear weapons in Korea.” For all intents and purposes, this is an accurate account. If we fast-forward toward the present-day, the Bush administration’s Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations issued in 2005 established the circumstances under which the US could preemptively invoke the use of nuclear weapons. The North Korean Foreign Ministry’s recent statement, “Second Korean War Is Unavoidable”, argues that the DPRK reserves the right to a preemptive nuclear attack and the Foal Eagle joint military exercises are akin to Washington lighting a fuse for a nuclear war. The document also acknowledges the Obama administration’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, and that the US “seeks a way out of a serious economic crisis at home in unleashing the second Korean War.” Many analysts throughout the alternative media have acknowledged North Korea’s history as a victim and have defended their acquisition of a nuclear deterrent. While the historical context of abuse warrants one to be empathetic toward Pyongyang in this respect, many of these commentators fail to necessitate the primacy that inter-Korean dialogue should hold in their writings. The only thing keeping the situation from

deteriorating is the fact that North would probably not come out victorious if it went to war with South Korea and the United States. While the North boasts larger manpower, more submarines, and more fighter jets, the South possesses highly sophisticated weaponry and modern defense technology by comparison – for this reason, Pyongyang has put more focus on the development of ICBMs and nuclear warheads. One could argue that the case has never been stronger for the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea. Such a move would satisfy civilians in both Koreas and yield higher chances of provoking a positive response from Pyongyang during this tense period. As tensions increase on the Korean Peninsula, the only power that has any influence to broker an agreement that could de-escalate hostilities is China. Following North Korea’s third nuclear test, many Chinese citizens took part in a historically unprecedented outbreak of antiNorth Korea protests, and both China’s state-run media and various policy experts are becoming more vocal in their criticism of Beijing’s North Korean policy. China partnered with the United States to co-author recent UN resolutions against Pyongyang, exhibiting new heights of Beijing’s disapproval with the Kim dynasty. An editorial in China’s Global Times newspaper reads, “If North Korea engages in further nuclear tests, China will not hesitate to

reduce its assistance to North Korea.” The editorial went on to say that if the US, Japan and South Korea “promote extreme U.N. sanctions on North Korea, China will resolutely stop them and force them to amend these draft resolutions.” Kim Jong-un has demonstrated his willingness to go against the wishes of his main allies in Beijing, which has visibly frustrated those on the Chinese side. China should do more to denounce unnecessary and provocative military drills that have the potential to lead to fire exchange and inter-Korean turbulence. China hosted tri-lateral talks in Beijing with Pyongyang and Washington in attendance a decade ago in April 2003 – at the time North Korea withdrew from the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, fired a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan, violated South Korean airspace with a fighter jet, and threatened to abandon the 1953 Armistice Agreement. The present day scenario is highly unpredictable and it’s clear that Beijing must take the initiative to deescalate this situation and bring all parties together to the negotiating table to work out a new agreement – one that establishes meaningful inter-Korean security assurances that lead to both sides scaling back military drills and provocative muscle flexing – such is a prerequisite for any kind of normalisation of relations. (COUNTERPUNCH)


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Qaeda front group claims Iraq ministry attack BAGHDAD: Al Qaeda’s front group in Iraq has claimed a brazen coordinated attack involving a series of bombings and the storming of a ministry complex in central Baghdad, a monitoring service said on Sunday. The Islamic State of Iraq claimed to have killed up to 60 people, according to the US-based SITE Monitoring Service. Security and medical officials told AFP that 18 people died in the March 14 attack near Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which is home to several government buildings as well as the American and British embassies. –AGENCIES

Afghans protest against US presence in Wardak

Japan PM hopes to ease China–S Korea ties T OK YO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he hoped to meet the Chinese and South Korean leaders soon to improve relations strained by separate territorial rows. But his ruling party also pledged the same day to push for changes to Japan's pacifist constitution -- a move likely to stir unease in both the countries, which were among victims of Tokyo's 20th century militarism. "I am in the same generation as the two new leaders," Abe told an annual convention of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping, 59, and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, 61. The 58-year-old Abe became prime minister in December for a

second time when his conservative party secured a landslide election victory, while Tokyo was locked in disputes with Beijing and Seoul over island chains. "For prosperity and stability in the region, it is necessary for the three of us to build mutual understanding," Abe told the convention. "I want to say that Japan's door is always open toward China," said Abe, who was previously premier from 2006-2007. But earlier in the day, the premier urged graduates of the National Defence Academy to guard the country against "provocations", an apparent reference to the row with Beijing over sovereignty of a Tokyocontrolled island chain. Chinese ships have routinely circled

constitution" to replace the USimposed post-war charter which bans the use of force in settling international disputes. The ban limits the so-called SelfDefence Forces to a strictly defensive role and bars them from taking aggressive action. The hawkish Abe has said Japan must redefine its rules of engagement to provide an effective deterrent against North Korea and balance China's growing military might. Abe said in January he intends to change the constitution, by modifying an article which stipulates that amendments need a two-thirds majority in parliament. The LDP and its junior coalition partner New Komeito have a morethan two-thirds majority in the lower

the Senkaku islands, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus, since Tokyo nationalised some of them in September. Abe, in his speech to graduates, emphasised that the security situation had changed since they started their course four years ago. "Unlike four years ago... provocations are continuing against our country's territorial land, sea and air," he told the graduation ceremony. "What is happening in the field where you will be is a harsh reality and a crisis that is there," he added. "I wish you to dedicate yourselves to noble duty in the field, to defend the people and the country." The LDP convention adopted a wide-ranging action plan, including efforts to create an "independent

BEIJING: Several hundred Afghans have protested against the US military presence in the troubled Afghan province of Wardak. They marched to parliament in the capital Kabul, denouncing alleged US crimes in the area. Khalilullah Ibrahimkhail, Wardak province resident, said, "We have gathered here to protest against the Special Forces in Maidan Wardak, because they enter people’s homes and torture innocent people, they have also detained 9 people and it is not clear what will happen to them." The demonstrators are calling for the withdrawal of US troops from their province after the president barred them from the area. They are also demanding the release of nine local citizens they believe were detained by US forces. US officials have acknowledged that four men were arrested in the province in joint US-Afghan raids, but had no information on the other five alleged detainees. –AGENCIES

Thousands of Tunisians call for Islamist govt to quit TUNIS: Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets of the capital Tunis on Saturday to call for an end to an Islamist government they blame for the assassination of a leading secular politician 40 days earlier. It was the biggest demonstration since Chokri Belaid was gunned down outside his house on February 6, igniting the worst unrest since the Jasmine Revolution that toppled strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and started the Arab Spring. In a bid to quell the protests, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned and was replaced by Ali Larayedh, a fellow member of the Islamist Ennahda party, who formed a new coalition government including independents in key ministries. –AGENCIES

Syria conflict not to affect Iran’s ties with neighbours TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that disagreements on the Syrian crisis should not influence Iran's relationship with neighboring countries, Tehran Times daily reported Sunday. "The expansion of ties with the regional countries, especially our neighbors, is among the top priorities of our foreign policy, and we do our best to take advantage of high potentials that exist for cooperation between us and the neighboring countries," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying on Saturday. Instability in one country can spill over into all neighboring countries, he said, adding that regional states, rather than foreign forces, should cooperate to create a stable and calm region. Mehmanparast reiterated that the best way to defend the Syrian people's rights is to help end the violence in the Arab state. –AGENCIES

house, but New Komeito and some LDP factions are cautious about amendments. The less powerful upper house is controlled by no single party, but the opposition Democratic Party of Japan has the greatest number of seats. Elections for half the upper house seats must be held around July. "We will definitely win through the (upper house) election and reestablish a proud Japan," Abe told the convention. The party action plan also reaffirmed Japan's intention to join the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, despite persistent objections from farmers and others. It said Japan will negotiate "in a manner which will protect national interests including the agriculture and fishery sector". –AGENCIES

China leaders vow clean govt

HYDERABAD: Indian homeless eat at a feeding programme for the poor. India still has the world’s largest number of impoverished in a single country, of its nearly one billion inhabitants, an estimated 350-400 million live below the poverty line with 75 percent of them in the rural areas. –WIRE SERVICE

AgustaWestland

India wrestles with dilemma of blacklisting NEW DELHI: Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony is leaning toward barring Anglo-Italian helicopter firm AgustaWestland from doing business in the country because of a corruption scandal, but he could be outvoted by cabinet colleagues, several government sources said. Some cabinet ministers and even officials within the defense ministry fear such a move could set back India's efforts to modernize its military, the sources told Reuters. India plans to spend $100 billion in the next decade on military hardware. Publicly, Antony has said he is awaiting the results of a federal police investigation into the allegations of corruption, which AgustaWestland denies. But several defense officials said that based on evidence uncovered so far, the minister favored barring the firm from bidding for Indian defense contracts. AgustaWestland, a division of Italian defense group Finmeccanica, faces allegations in Italy and India that it paid bribes to win a $750 million deal to supply 12 VIP AW101 helicopters to transport Indian political leaders. Any decision on barring AgustaWestland will initially be taken by Antony, but it will need approval of a cabinet committee that includes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and foreign minister Salman Khurshid. Behind the scenes, some cabinet ministers and defense officials have expressed concern that any move to ban yet another major defense firm could deal a

blow to India's stuttering efforts to modernize its military. Antony is nicknamed St. Antony for his anti-corruption zeal and reputation for probity. Blacklisting the helicopter firm could contain damage to the ruling Congress party, which fears the corruption allegations could become an issue in upcoming state and national elections. The extent of the opposition in the cabinet to such a move is unclear, but if those opposing blacklisting muster a majority then Antony may have to look at less punitive measures, such as imposing a heavy fine. Everything hinged on what the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the deal uncovers, defense ministry officials said. A cabinet minister confirmed to Reuters there were "divergent views within the government" over the issue. "We don't want to over-react because we don't want to let this issue affect our defense preparedness," Khurshid, the foreign minister, told the Times of India newspaper in an interview in February. The mere fact there is debate within the cabinet and the defense ministry over blacklisting is notable. It shows growing disquiet over an anti-corruption measure that analysts say has cost India dearly, reducing the pool of arms firms it can buy from and hampering efforts to replace obsolete equipment. India placed six defense companies on a blacklist last year after allegations that bribes were paid to win contracts. –AGENCIES

Six confess raping Swiss tourist NEW DELHI: Indian police said they arrested six men Sunday in connection with the gang rape of a Swiss woman who was on a cycling vacation in central India. A police officer in Gatia district of Madhya Pradesh state said the men all admitted to the crime. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Police say the woman and her husband had camped out in a forest in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh when they were attacked by a group of men Friday night. They say that the couple were robbed and beaten, and that the woman was gang-raped. The woman, 39, was treated Saturday at a hospital in the nearby city of Gwalior and was released later that day, police said. The attack came three months after the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student aboard a moving bus in New Delhi, the capital, set off nationwide protests, sparking a debate about the treatment of women in India and highlighting the inability of law enforcement agencies to protect them. –AGENCIES

BEIJING: China's new leaders struck a populist tone Sunday as they got down to the painstaking work of governing, promising cleaner government, less red tape and more fairness to enlarge a still small middle class and help struggling private businesses. In appearances that mark the completion of a months-long, orchestrated leadership transition, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang stressed the urgency of reining in runaway official corruption to restore the Communist Party's frayed public credibility. Li made specific pledges to slash official perks and government extravagance to free up money for social welfare programs at a time of slower economic growth. He said a ban will be put on building new government offices, government payrolls will be reduced, as will spending on banquets, travel and cars — behavior that has fueled public anger and protests. "If the people are to live a good life, their government must be put on a tight budget," Li said in his first news conference as premier after the end of the annual session of the national legislature. Earlier, in addressing the nearly 3,000 legislative deputies in the Great Hall of the People, Xi promised to root out "corruption and other misconduct in all manifestations." He said people's own aspirations must be part of "the Chinese dream" — a signature phrase he has used to invoke national greatness. "Each of us must have broad space to diligently realize our own dreams," he said. Though Xi and Li were installed as Nos. 1 and 2 in the party leadership in November, Sunday's closing of the legislature means their government is now fully in place. The legislature

appointed Cabinet ministers, named Li premier, gave Xi the ceremonial title of president and thereby relieved their predecessors of office. The legislature's close — and their appearances — also brought a concerted push to burnish the leaders' image before a public that has grown more demanding as it has become more prosperous and better connected by the Internet and cellphones. Expectations have run high in recent months that the new leadership would address social sore-spots: close a wide wealth gap, curb the often capricious use of official power and clean up an environment degraded by the headlong pursuit of growth. Both Xi's speech and Li's news conference were nationally televised. In them, they showed personality differences with their predecessors. Xi appeared more commanding and comfortable with his authority than his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Li was more direct and plainly spoken if less sympathetic than the grandfatherly Wen Jiabao, who larded his news conferences with references to classical poetry. Li also gave a hint of his fluency in English. At one point he corrected a translator for saying "thank you" at the end of a translation when Li had not said it. The 57-year-old also recalled having been exiled to work in a poor rural village in his teens in the 1970s, like many in his generation under Mao Zedong's radical rule, before market reforms and the reopening of universities brought change. The reforms, he said, "have lifted hundreds of millions of peasants out of poverty and it has changed the life course of many individuals, including me." Both events were heavily scripted. Questions by Chinese and foreign reporters at Li's 115-minute news conference were largely prearranged and pre-screened. –AGENCIES

Russia to send permanent navy fleet to Mediterranean MOSCOW: The Russian Navy would station a permanent task force in the Mediterranean Sea, Admiral Viktor Chirkov said here Sunday. "Up to five or six warships must be present in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis," Chirkov said in an interview with a TV station run by the Defense Ministry, adding the squadron would be made up of frigates, cruisers and support vessels. The task force would be under the command of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, he said. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier Monday the navy possessed the capabilities to form a workable squadron in the region. However, he did not give a timetable for the deployment, which would need to ensure logistics and maintenance of warships in the Mediterranean. –AGENCIES

As drone monopoly frays, Obama seeks global rules TABASSUM ZAKARIA WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama, who vastly expanded US drone strikes against terrorism suspects overseas under the cloak of secrecy, is now openly seeking to influence global guidelines for their use as China and other countries pursue their own drone programs. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. But other countries are catching up. China's interest in unmanned aerial vehicles was displayed in November at an air show . According to state-run newspaper Global Times, China had considered conducting its first drone strike to kill a suspect in the 2011 murder of 13 Chinese sailors, but authorities decided they wanted the man alive so they could put him on trial. "People say what's going to happen when the Chinese and the Russians get this technology? The president is well aware of those concerns and wants to

set the standard for the international community on these tools," said Tommy Vietor, until earlier this month a White House spokesman. As US ground wars end - over in Iraq, drawing to a close in Afghanistan surgical counterterrorism targeting has become "the new normal," Vietor said. Amid a debate within the US government, it is not yet clear what new standards governing targeted killings and drone strikes the White House will develop for US operations or propose for global rules of the road. Obama's new position is not without irony. The White House kept details of drone operations - which remain largely classified - out of public view for years when the US monopoly was airtight. That stance is just now beginning to change, in part under pressure from growing public and Congressional discomfort with the drone program. US lawmakers have demanded to see White House legal justifications for targeting US citizens abroad, and to know whether Obama thinks he has the authority to use drones to kill Americans on US soil.

On Friday, a three-judge federal appeals court panel unanimously ruled that the CIA gave an inadequate response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking records about drone strikes. The CIA had said it could neither confirm nor deny whether it had drone records because of security concerns. The judge who wrote the ruling noted that the president had publicly acknowledged that the United States uses drone strikes against al Qaeda. Strikes by missile-armed Predator and Reaper drones against terrorism suspects overseas began under former President George W. Bush and were expanded by Obama. The ramp-up started in 2008, the last year of Bush's term, when there were 35 air strikes in Pakistan, and escalated under Obama to a peak of 117 in 2010, according to The Long War Journal ( http://www. longwarjournal. org/pakistan-strikes.php ). That jump in use of armed drones resulted from the authorization to use "signature" strikes, which allowed targeting terrorism suspects based on

behavior and other characteristics without knowing their actual identity, a US official said on condition of anonymity. Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the administration is committed to explaining to Congress and the public as much as possible about its drone policies, including how decisions to strike are made. "We are constantly working to refine, clarify, and strengthen the process for considering terrorist targets for lethal action," Hayden said. The administration recognizes "we are establishing standards other nations may follow," she said. James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said other countries, including Russia, have unarmed reconnaissance drones. China says it has an armed drone, but "we don't know if it works," he said. "Getting agreement on the applicability of existing humanitarian law to the new technologies is crucial," he said, because China and Russia do

not endorse applying laws of armed conflict to new military technologies. One of the Obama administration's goals is to "regularize" the drone program, making it more a part of accepted US practice in the future, Lewis said. "This is going to be part of warfare." While the Obama administration moves toward refinement and transparency of standards, drone strikes continue to spark outrage in countries where they are conducted. Washington has sought to portray civilian casualties from drone strikes as minimal, but groups collecting data on these attacks say they have killed hundreds of civilians. A UN human rights investigator who is looking into drone strikes worldwide said on Friday the US campaign had violated Pakistan's sovereignty. One focus of US officials' internal debate is whether to shift drone operations to the Pentagon from the CIA. That would allow the CIA to return to more traditional operations of espionage and intelligence analysis, and put the killing of terrorism targets in the hands of the military.

It would probably be a "phased approach" that would account for differences in the threat and political sensitivities, said a second US official. "There would have to be some tailoring." In Pakistan, where the US military is not in ground combat, the Obama administration would probably not want drone strikes to appear as being conducted by the military. In Yemen, there may not be the same sensitivities. US military personnel are on the ground working with Yemenis in counterterrorism operations. The United States has also carried out drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia. "I think if they moved it, not as a covert action program, but one of the tools of the warfighter, then the result of it is probably going to be more public exposure about what they are doing," Stephen Hadley, national security adviser under Bush, said. The "center of gravity" in internal administration debates is the goal of greater consistency on how drone strikes are managed, decided upon, and executed, the second official said. (Counterpunch)


MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

South Asia’s growth-inflation dilemma 

The top priorities for India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh should be reforms and higher investments to break free of this trap

DHARMAKIRTI JOSHI & AINDRILLA ROYCHOUDHRY

In the previous decade, South Asia was among the fastest-growing regions of the world. But it has been a very different story in the last three or four years. Growth in the region has slowed more than anticipated. And today, it is not only India - the dominant economic force in the region - which is in the grip of low growth and high inflation; other key South Asian economies, too, are preys to this. This is in marked contrast to neighbouring Asian economies, such as Indonesia and Philippines, which enjoy low inflation and better economic prospects, and to African nations that have shown great economic resilience. Among the four countries in the region that we analysed, the growthinflation dynamic is far worse in India and Pakistan - the region's two largest economies - compared with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Growth in India and Pakistan during this period has been significantly lower than the pre-crisis years, whereas inflation rates have been substantially higher. Although a weak global environment has been a common

growth dampener for the region, domestic macroeconomic imbalances have been primarily responsible for the sharp slowdown and the spike in inflation in both these countries. In Bangladesh, growth did not fall much, buoyed by robust export growth and strong inward remittances, but inflation shot up.The exception to this regional trend was Sri Lanka, which benefited from the end of the civil war in the country's north and the northeast. Here, growth went up and inflation declined. But the scenario is now reversing in the island nation. In India and Pakistan, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell to 7.2 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively, during 2009-2012, from 8.8 per cent and 6.3 per cent during 20042009. Inflation, however, shot up 7.2 per cent per year in India and 11.9 per cent in Pakistan, from 5.5 per cent and eight per cent per year, in the respective periods. India's GDP is projected to slip to five per cent in 2012-13, and Pakistan is projected to have grown at 3.5 per cent in the same period. Domestic factors, such as high interest rates, policy logjam and a consequent sharp slowdown in private investments, led to the growth

slowdown in India. Since 2008-09, the government expenditure has focused more on boosting consumption demand in the short term than on improving the economy's productive capacity. The consequent increase in the fiscal deficit and the inadequate focus on expanding productive capacity served as a breeding ground for a high inflation regime. Food inflation, too, has been stubbornly high in India. The growth situation in Pakistan worsened partly because of the global economic turmoil that affected the export demand, but largely owing to internal issues like shortages of gas supply and security issues, affecting the industry and investments. Inflation in the country was high even in the pre-crisis period, but has risen further on the back of a spike in food inflation. Bangladesh's growth has been somewhat resilient compared to its counterparts, since remittances from its workers in the Gulf region remained strong. This, together with the strong buoyancy in the export growth (Bangladesh exports low-end items whose demand has not been significantly affected by the global crisis), cushioned the country's GDP growth. Sri Lanka not only maintained

its pre-crisis growth rate, but also managed to keep inflation fairly low during this period. Reconstruction spending in the war-affected northern part of the country supported growth. The unlocking of land for agricultural purposes after the end of the war boosted agricultural productivity and tamed food inflation. However, this dividend from the end of the war, and some of the gains it ushered in, are now beginning to fade. The outlook for 2013 is somewhat better than the performance in 2012, but the high growth rates seen during the pre-Lehman crisis period are not in sight anywhere in the region, except in Bangladesh. Some improvement is likely in the export growth as a result of the marginal improvement in the global economic scenario. GDP growth in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh could also benefit from an increase in government-welfare spending on the eve of elections: general elections are expected to be held in early 2014 in India, May 2013 in Pakistan, and January 2014 in Bangladesh. However, these drivers of growth for 2013 are either cyclical or one-off. The region needs to decisively come out of the low growth-high inflation regime

to lift its population out of poverty. Although there is no "one shoe fits all" solution for countries in the region, economic reforms that will help clear structural bottlenecks, higher investments and better regional economic cooperation to create a buffer against global headwinds are necessary in all these economies, so that they can raise growth and bring down inflation. After a brief policy hiatus, India has embarked on a fresh round of economic liberalisation beginning September 2012, to improve its fiscal health and kick-start private investments. But it still has a long way to go. Sri Lanka needs to enhance its export competitiveness and boost private consumption in order to support its growth. Pakistan needs to reverse the trend of falling investment, address infrastructural bottlenecks and tame its deficits. Bangladesh has been resilient and its prospects are relatively healthier, but it surely needs to diversify its exports and address infrastructural constraints to lift growth from around six per cent currently and sustain higher growth rates. Even as they take steps to boost growth, maintaining low and stable

The inflation of Hugo Chávez JORGE G. CASTAÑEDA Supporters of Hugo Chávez, the recently deceased Venezuelan president, and even many of his critics, have repeatedly emphasized two supposed achievements that will burnish his legacy. First, the share of people living in poverty plummeted to approximately 28% in 2012, from a peak of 62% in 2003 (though it was 46% three years earlier, at the beginning of Chávez’s first term). Second, he gave to a majority of Venezuelans a sense of identity, pride, and dignity long denied them by a corrupt, elitist, light-skinned oligarchy. Both claims, however, are only partly true, and only partly account for Chávez’s recurrent electoral victories – 13 of 14 popular votes, including referenda. As for the first claim, both The Economist and the Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa were right to put Chávez’s achievement in perspective. Almost every country in Latin America has reduced poverty significantly since the beginning of this century, with the extent of progress depending on baselines and cut-off dates, good years and bad years, the reliability of official data, and other factors. The reasons for this progress are well known: with the exception of 2001 and 2009, these were boom years for commodity-exporting countries like Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and, of

course, Venezuela, as well as for manufacturing-based economies, like Mexico. Furthermore, during these nearly 15 years, most governments have managed their accounts responsibly: small or no fiscal deficits, low inflation, well-targeted antipoverty programs, and so on. This has helped to lower not only poverty, but also inequality, Latin America’s traditional scourge. According to the economist Nora Lustig, between 2000 and 2010, “income inequality…declined in all 17 Latin American countries for which comparable data exist.” The decline was especially pronounced in the three largest countries – Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina – which comprise nearly 75% of the region’s population. One difference in Venezuela is that Chávez spent more than $1 trillion to achieve the same feat – in a country with a population one-sixth the size of Brazil’s and slightly more than onequarter the size of Mexico’s. While the long-term viability and effectiveness of conditional cash-transfer programs in Brazil and Mexico is questionable, these anti-poverty initiatives certainly are better designed than Chávez’s massive, blanket subsidies on everything from poultry and flour to housing and gasoline. Then there is the destruction of Venezuelan industry, the spectacular

increase in violence, the explosion of foreign debt, and the depletion of foreign-currency reserves that has accompanied Chávez’s so-called “Bolivarian socialism of the twentyfirst century.” None of these problems has afflicted the region’s other large countries – or at least not to anywhere near the same extent. If Chávez had not played with the numbers, as demagogues and populist leaders tend to do, the results would be more disheartening. The second argument in defense of Chávez’s legacy is a bit more robust, but not much. True, Venezuela’s immense natural riches have been exploited and often squandered by elites more accustomed to the boulevards of Miami than to the slums of Caracas. But it is equally true that Venezuela enjoyed 40 years of democratic rule before Chávez, under the 1958 Punto Fijo Pact, whereby two parties, one social democratic and the other social Christian, alternated in power peacefully. Venezuela also boasted one of the region’s most vibrant civil societies, with some of its freest and most vigorous media. With the exception of the Caracazo – a wave of protests against free-market reforms in 1989 that resulted in an estimated 3,000 deaths – there were only minor bouts of repression.

A new era of energy cooperation in the ECO region MAHMOOD KHAGHANI During the closing years of the 20th century and beginning of 21st century it was the Caspian Sea's vast energy wealth potential that offered the energy thirsty industrialized world a vital new source of petroleum which they needed for their economic growth. In 1992 three Caspian Sea littoral states namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan joined the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which was established as a regional non-political for economic cooperation by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan in early 1980’s. As result today four of ECO member states are littoral states of the Caspian Sea. ECO-Caspian Sea petroleum resources: Petroleum resources of the region have also magnified the postSoviet competition for influence among Turkey, Russia, and major Asian petroleum importers in Transcaucasia and Central Asia, such as China, India, and Pakistan... The U.S. government has failed to recognize what is at stake in the struggle for petroleum and influence in the ECO-Caspian Sea region. Thus by imposing all kinds of sanctions on one of the important littoral states of the ECO-Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf contributing to the rise of a potentially dangerous security environment not only in the region, but beyond the region. ECO Energy Charter: The former ECO Secretary General M. Yahya Maroofi met Iran's Minister of Petroleum, Rostam Qassemi, on 30 May 2012 in preparation for the 3rd ECO Energy /Petroleum Ministerial Meeting, which was scheduled to take place during 2527 June 2012 in Tehran but was later postponed to 6 March 2013. Shana News Agency reported that the outcome of this meeting was the emergence of an innovative concept for the creation of what was termed an "ECO Energy Charter". The idea was

subsequently discussed at the ECO 22nd Regional Planning Council and the Institute of International Energy Studies (IIES), which is affiliated to Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, offered to study and submit the outcome to ECO decision making meetings. What is the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)?: There appears to be general confusion – since the meaning has literally become 'lost in translation' - as to what exactly the “ECO energy charter” proposal actually is and in particular how it relates to the existing framework of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) based in Europe. In simple terms the Energy Charter Treaty is a framework for investment in energy resources, and its principal purpose is to enable investment by the advanced nations, particularly in Europe, in securing energy supplies. The focus – which reflects the energy security concerns of the sponsoring nations is therefore principally on the extractive industries and the production of non-renewable oil and natural gas in particular. The Energy Charter Treaty – the political declaration that forms the foundation of the Energy Charter Process and exists since 1991 – was signed by 58 countries. Seven of ECT member countries, including the U.S. and Canada, did not sign the legally binding Energy Charter Treaty, which was adopted three years later, in 1994, and entered into force in 1998. Five other ECT member states including Norway, Australia and Russia signed the treaty, but have not yet ratified it. Iran and Pakistan, the two founder member of ECO Energy Accord: Just prior to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) 3rd Energy/Petroleum Ministerial Meeting on March 6, 2013, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with visiting Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on 27 February 2013 in Tehran pointed to the two ECO founder members’ brotherly

bonds and said, "We seriously believe that the two countries' economic, political, social and security ties should be reinvigorated." The Leader also pointed to the Iran– Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline which is due to take Iran's rich gas reserves to Pakistan as a crucially important instance of Tehran-Islamabad cooperation, and called for ignoring the opposition shown by certain actors to the development of Iran-Pakistan relations. The Supreme Leader reminded Pakistan's urgent need to stable and secure energy resources, similar to every other country and added, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the region which enjoys secure energy resources and we are ready to supply Pakistan's need in this ground." President Zardari who headed a highranking delegation to Iran arrived in Tehran on 27 February to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments with senior Iranian officials. Iran-Pakistan Joint Contracting Company: The Iranian oil minister agreed with his Pakistani counterpart to set up a joint contracting company between the two countries in a bid to complete the construction of the IP gas pipeline by December 2014. The IP gas pipeline stretches from Iran-Pakistan border to Navabshah region in Pakistan and it covers 781 km of the total 1,881 km of the pipeline. Demand for natural gas in Pakistan has outstripped supply in recent years, putting existing reserves under immense pressure. The 2700kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering from a lack of energy resources, but India has evaded talks. In 2011, Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meeting. International energy expert are of the opinion that Iran-Pakistan agreement is a first step to new era of ECO regional energy accord. Courtesy: Tehran Times

To be sure, large swaths of Venezuelan society rightly felt excluded from the country’s cozy elite consensus and insular governing arrangements, and resented it immensely; but an aspiring middle class comprised roughly half the population. Chávez exploited – and widened – that division; indeed, as the current campaign to elect his successor shows, the country remains more polarized than ever. It may well be that Chávez’s purported feats and popularity will outlast him. Instead of a simple rotation of elites in power, perhaps what occurred during his time in office was the advent of political leadership that looks, talks, worships, and loves like the people of the country – leadership that identifies with and benefits the millions of Venezuelans who previously were marginalized. In that case, Chávez’s designated successor, Nicolás Maduro, will make short work of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in the upcoming election. Chavismo will outlive Chávez. But, whatever the outcome, all the mourning and embalming will not alter a simple fact: Venezuela and its people are not clearly better off than they were 14 years ago. And whatever modest improvements they may feel in their lives were also secured elsewhere, at a far lower economic and political cost. Courtesy Project Syndicate

Unimpressive five years for stock investors OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT It’s a big event for Pakistan that a democratically elected parliament for the first time is completing its 5-year term on March 16, 2013. For a 66-year old country where army rule is 36-years, a smooth transition from a elected government to an independent caretaker set up is no doubt a big achievement. Amid this march to pure democracy, average stock market investors in Pakistan have seen one of the worst periods. Equity returns remained depress in last 5-years, market depth was weak while companies were not able to raise funds aggressively for expansion. KSE Index gained only 18% in 5-years: When the PPP-led government took charges on March 17, 2008, the benchmark KSE Index was 15,043pts. And now it stands at 17,741pts generating an unimpressive return of just 18%. Besides challenging global environment and security conditions, economic slowdown affected the local bourses during last 5 years. In fact in US dollar terms, investors lost 24% in last 5-years. During the same period where investors lost 24% in Pakistan, people lost 1% in India while have gained 100% in Indonesia, 110% in Thailand and 146% in Philippines. Market capitalization that was Rs4.6tr (US$73bn) n March 2008 or 46% of GDP, is now at Rs4.3tn (US$45bn) or 19% of GDP proving that the market has not grown in relation to the overall economy. Though the market has performed well in 2012, thanks to sharp fall in interest rate, the average annual return in last 5-years are far not at all impressive compared to average inflation of 12%. Someone who has invested in T-Bill or NSS (National Saving Schemes) in March 2008 would be richer than those who invested in equities Only 24 IPOs in last 5 years: Compared to average annual equity offerings of 30 in 1990s and 8 in 2000s, there were only 5 IPOs a year in last 5-years. Not only these IPOs of 5years were lower than the past trend the size of offerings were also small and unimpressive.

inflation should be a policy priority for all countries in the region. In the near term, inflationary pressure will remain somewhat high in South Asia since fuel and power prices (which are highly subsidised) will have to be increased to trim the fiscal deficit. In the long run, however, taming food inflation via improving agricultural production and the supply chain and removing intracountry restrictions on the movement of food is vital to rein in overall inflation. Food inflation has been persistently high in the region, and constitutes a significant part of household consumption. Its weight in the consumer price index ranges from 35 to 55 per cent in the region. Last but not the least, improving regional trade can bring in a host of benefits and help South Asian economies to come out of the low growth-high inflation trap. Recent studies by various multilateral agencies have shown that increased trade not only has the potential to boost GDP growth because of the unique geography of South Asia distance and density - but can also help the region in its fight against food inflation. Courtesy Business Standard

Politics of pipelines HARSH V PANT

The much delayed India-Pakistan-Iran (IPI) gas pipeline is back in the news. Of course, without one “I” – India. Iran and Pakistan marked the start of Pakistani construction earlier this week when the presidents of the two countries came together for the ground breaking ceremony. The two are hoping that the pipeline will be complete in time to start delivery of 21.5 million cubic metres of gas per day to Pakistan by December 2014. There was much political symbolism involved in this move by Islamabad and Tehran as both nations are trying to snub the US which has been against this pipeline and has been trying to isolate Iran for its nuclear programme. During the ceremony, Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused ‘foreign elements’ of trying to undermine Iran’s relations with Pakistan and to thwart the Islamic Republic’s progress by using its nuclear programme as a pretext. “I want to tell those individuals that the gas pipeline has no connection whatsoever with the nuclear case,” Ahmadinejad thundered. Rapidly rising energy demand in India and Pakistan has been the impetus behind the proposed gas pipeline from Iran’s outfields through Pakistan to India. It is expected that this joint gas pipeline project would play an important role in cementing ties between Iran and Pakistan and that Pakistan’s annual royalties from this project would be about $500 million to $600 million. The proposal, however, was stuck for a long time because of differences between Pakistan and Iran on pricing and on methods to supply gas to India. Both India and Pakistan had contended that Tehran offer a price for gas in line with global practices for long-term contracts and had rejected Iran’s gas pricing formula wherein the gas price is linked to Brent crude oil with a fixed escalating cost component. The price Pakistan was demanding for security and transit from India also made India wary of the project. And then there was the US opposition to the project though both India and Pakistan had indicated that the project remained a foreign policy priority despite the pressure from the US. In the end Pakistan decided in 2009 to finalise the gas pipeline deal with Iran, connecting Iran’s South Pars gas field and Pakistan’s Balochistan and Sindh provinces. The pipeline is expected to start operating from 2014. However, the deal remains a controversial one even in Pakistan because of the high price that Iran is charging. India had quit the project in 2009 though officially New Delhi continues to claim that it has kept its options open to join the project at a later date even as China has evinced a keen interest in joining the project. For India, the issue of Iran’s reliability as an energy provider is the main one. There is little evidence so far that Iran would be a reliable partner in India’s search for energy security. A number of important projects with Indian businesses and Indian government have either been rejected by Iran or have yet to be finalised due to last minute changes in the terms and conditions by Tehran. Confi fid dence-building measure: To date, Iran accounts for only about 8 per cent of Indian oil imports. Moreover, two of the major energy deals recently signed with great fanfare, and raising concerns in the west, are now in limbo. India’s 25-year, $22 billion agreement with Iran for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has not produced anything since it was signed in 2005, as it requires India to build an LNG plant in Iran. The plant would need American components, which might violate the US Iran–Libya Sanctions Act. The other project — involving the construction of a 1,700-mile, $7 billion pipeline to carry natural gas from Iran to India via Pakistan — is also stuck. The current Indian government initially viewed the pipeline project as a confidencebuilding measure between India and Pakistan, but when pressure started mounting, prime minister Manmohan Singh went so far in 2005 as to say that he did not know if any international consortium of bankers would underwrite the project, given uncertainties about Iran. The Indian strategic community has never been in favour of the pipeline proposal anyway, as in their opinion, it gives Pakistan too much leverage over India’s energy security. Both these projects have also made the unreliability of Iran as a trade partner clear to India. The national oil companies of Iran and India disagree about the legal interpretation of the contract for the export of LNG to India. This deal was signed in 2005 before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran, and was tied to a relatively low market price for crude oil. India considers the deal final and binding, while Iran has argued that it is not binding because it has not been ratified. Amid the growing global isolation of Iran, sections of the Indian government have suggested that India’s participation in the gas pipeline deal might not be strategically advantageous to India, given the very low quantity (30 million standard cubic meters per day) of gas involved. Moreover, it has also been apparent that the Iranian gas is not the lowest-priced option for India. New Delhi has made it clear that although it remains interested in the pipeline project, it would pay for the gas only after it is received at the Pakistan–India border, it would not pay penalty in case of a delay, and it is opposed to Iran’s demand to revise the deal’s gas prices every three years. India’s interests in the relationship with Iran, however, have never been strictly commercial. After Pakistan and Iran signed their pipeline deal in 2009, India indicated that it was willing to resume negotiations regarding independently importing natural gas from Iran via sea pipeline, allowing India to get around Pakistan. As Iran and Pakistan move ahead with the project, India’s best option now would be to wait and watch to see if the rhetoric of the ‘peace pipeline’ actually matches the ground reality of energy security in its neighbourhood. Courtesy Deccan Herald


CMYK MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Abhishek, Ranbir to play football

Tom Cruise wooing 'Bond Girl' Olga Kurylenko

MUMBAI: Bollywood actors Abhishek Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor will play a football match with Indian cricket team to raise funds for a charity The match titled 'Playing for Humanity' will be held here on March 30 and is being managed by GS Worldwide Entertainment and the All Stars Football Club (ASFC), according to a report.. "ASFC is a lot of fun. We plan to do great work. It's raising the awareness for a great game, to popularise it and to raise funds and it's a very noble gesture and I'm looking forward to playing," Abhishek said in the release. "I'm fortunate to be one of the founders of the club. Bunty Walia (GS Entertainment) came with this brilliant idea and all the profits go to the charity organizations and I think it's a great cause," said Ranbir Kapoor, who is an avid football lover. The Bollywood team will be led by Bachchan and World Cup star Virat Kohli is the captain for the Indian cricket team for the charity match for NGO Magic Bus. -SHOWBIZ DESK

LONDON; Olga Kurylenko arrives for the Empire Film Awards. Tom Cruise has reportedly set his sights on the Quantum of Solace star Olga Kurylenko after meeting her on the set of their new film.According to a source, the 50-year-old actor has not been this serious about anyone since he first met Katie Holmes and she seems pretty keen on him too, the Sun reported. The insider added that that pair has been out for a couple of dinner dates and the A Few Good Men star is already smitten with Kurylenko who speaks several languages, is funny and gorgeous. CruiseThe source further claimed that Crusie is planning to woo her by taking her on his private jet with sushi in the sky, when they embark on the press tour for the film Oblivion and fly between New York, Dublin and Japan. The 33-year-old Ukrainian beauty shook up Hollywood when she was photographed snogging Cruise in September last year, but denied it by saying that she was just acting and the pictures were taken from a set. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Power of influence helps in making better choices: Kareena

Fashion beyond borders A baroque dream comes true with JJ Valaya

SHOWBIZ DESK

SHOWBIZ DESK

KARACHI: Karachi: Veteran Indian designer JJ Valaya launched the long anticipated debut lawn collection here in the Metropolitan, in collaboration with Pakistan’s top textile Industry, Five Star textile industries. Five Star teamed up with JJ Valaya to produce tantalizing prints which sets them apart from other designer lawns. The name JJ Valaya represents unmatched class. He has been making waves in the fashion world with his innovative take on traditional design esthetic with an eye on the needs of a modern lifestyle. JJ Valaya is founding member of Fashion Design Council of India FDCI and the first global brand ambassador of Crystal giant Swarovski. “Based on the above experiences and global reputation, we chose this legendary fashion guru to design our debut spring/summer lawn collection 2013.A wide array of design patterns combines the essence and spirit of both our countries and blend them into almost melodiously enthralling forms” says Ali Asif, the Director of Five Star textile industries. The three day extravaganza at The Palm, Emerald Marquee kicked off with a launch event which featured emerging models such as Sehrish, Monica, Sidra, Maham, Manal,

Sarah, Mubashira, Zara, Abeer & Areeba.The key element of the show was the exciting grand finale in which Pakistan’s ace model/singer/actress Meesha Shafi walked the ramp with Ali Asif, Director Five Star Textile. There were forty five mannequins adorned in beautiful wardrobe by JJ Valaya. The unique collection has intricate detailing that embraces the spring season with five ravishing themes including Zari, Nizam,Naqashi, Jamawar and Sanghaner.

Each theme has 5 exquisite designs in 2 color ways. JJ Valaya lawn offers twenty five spectacular design prints variegated colors. The launch event was organized by Catwalk Productions and PR handled by Catalyst PR & Marketing. The guests in attendance included Safinaz Muneer, Huma Adnan, Abdul Samad, Zeba Bakhtiar, Mahin Hussain, Rukeiya Adamjee, Koni, Neshmia Ahmed and a huge crowd to welcome Five Star signature lawn by JJ Valaya.

MUMBAI: An Indian news magazine has named Kareena Kapoor in the list of 25 most influential women in the country. Kareena, who is the only Bollywood star in the list, feels that such an honour comes with responsibility towards the nation and her fans. “With wider influence, comes additional accountability. My fans look up to me and are influenced by my decisions, which I make sure are taken responsibly,” says the actor. Kareena is a privileged member of the first family of Indian cinema, the Kapoors, and is now married to the Nawab of Pataudi, actor Saif Ali Khan. But she isn’t shy about using the power and influence she enjoys in the industry. “It feels great that you are looked upon as an icon. The power of influence helps you do better and make choices that allow you to maintain a certain benchmark that well-wishers are proud of,” says Kareena. The actor is currently shooting for director Prakash Jha’s

Satyagraha with Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpayee, Ajay Devgn and Arjun Rampal. She plays a journalist who gives an insight into the political

system of the country. However, Kareena avoided our question about whether the movie has influenced her views on the system.

Miley Cyrus Salman to invest in Dubai property Lady Gaga to wear Versace at wedding denies split with Liam Hemsworth SHOWBIZ DESK

LONDON: Australian actor Liam Hemsworth has proposed to his Hannah Montana girlfriend Miley Cyrus, with the pair tweeting their engagement on Thursday. Miley Cyrus has again denied rumors on Twitter that her engagement to fiance Liam Hemsworth is over. She's also got a new tattoo inked on her arm - a miniature rendition of a Da Vinci anatomical heart. The 20-year-old singer replied to a distressed friend, who complained about 'feeling naked' without her ring as she'd sent it off to get repaired, by saying, "ugh that's the worst! I just had a similar situation except when it happens to me then everyone says my wedding is off," the Mirror reported. The former Hannah Montana star, who has been going around without her engagement ring on, is trying desperately to dispel rumors of her split, while Hemsworth is busy spending time in Australia with his family. Kat Von D, celebrity tattooist and a friend of Cyrus, recently posted an Instagram picture of the singer's new ink work, saying 'just did the raddest tattoo on Miley, a miniature rendition of a Da Vinci anatomical heart!'. -SHOWBIZ DESK

NEW DELHI: After Bollywood Biggies like Shah Rukh Khan and the Bachchans, Salman Khan is the next superstar to buy a house in the beautiful desert city Dubai. According to an entertainment website, the ‘Dabangg’ star, who was shooting for his brother Sohail Khan’s ‘Mental’ in Dubai, was reportedly taking out time in between the shoots to look for a real estate property in the city, with his family. “We are looking (for a house in Dubai); in fact we have been (looking) for a while. It’s just that we have been tied up this whole year. We would love

to buy a pad in Dubai. It’s just two and a half hours from Mumbai anyway,” Sohail Khan said. “It (investing in Dubai) has crossed our mind, we will just have to find the right place where we would like to invest, where we would like our home to be,” he further

added. Sohail also revealed that the decision to buy a house in Dubai was taken long back, even before they started shooting for their movie. He said, “For years now, we have been property hunting. Whenever we come here we see something nice, but people tell us to wait since there’s always something better coming up.” When asked whether Salman is planning to spend more time in Dubai, Sohail said that Mumbai is always going to be home for the Khandaan and added that although the Khan siblings were born and raised in Mumbai, they would love to holiday often in Dubai.

LONDON: Lady Gaga has decided to have her wedding dress designed by Donatella Versace. The singer has asked the fashion queen to create a gown made with black and gold silk with diamonds sewn into the bodice, the Sun reported. The 26-year-old also wants a removable skirt and train, which can be converted into another gown for the ceremony, which is supposed to be held this summer in New York, the Sun reported. A source told the publication that Gaga is spending millions on her wedding to the Vampire Diaries star Taylor Kinney and Versace is designing a typically over-the-top dress, which on its own will cost thousands. The source added that the Born This Way star thinks white is cheesy and wants black and gold silk with 'crazy removable bits'. -SHOWBIZ DESK

Growing old bittersweet experience: Kidman LOS ANGELES: Actress Nicole Kidman describes growing old as a bittersweet experience, but says she is happy with herself at this age. Kidman is more comfortable at this age than she thought she would be. "Being 45 is better than I expected, but at the same time suddenly I'm dealing with my parents who are in their 70s and it's bittersweet because you know where it's heading," mirror.co.uk quoted Kidman as saying. -SHOWBIZ DESK

I'm not letting Daniel go: Barbara Broccoli LONDON: Producer Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko and director Marc Forster arrives at the Australian premier of Quantum of Solace in Sydney. Daniel Craig's 'Quantum of Solace' producer Barbara Broccoli will reportedly be increasing the incentives for the star to keep him in the iconic film role of 'James bond'. The 52-year-old producer has claimed that the next installment of the '007' series, whose director Sam Mendes has quit, willbe the hardest to make, the Daily Express reported. The daughter of the late Bond producer Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli said in an interview with Day and Night News that she's determined to keep Craig in his tuxedo for the next few years. She has clearly said that she will not let the 45-year-old actor go anywhere and expressed sadness over Mendes' departure from the franchise following the award-winning 'Skyfall." Broccoli, who co-produces the films with her halfbrother Michael G. Wilson, explained that they do not want to disappoint the fans, that have kept them going all these years and they always try to make films that will please them so the pressure is on even more so than ever.She further added that she was thrilled that the famous spy was an integral part of the Olympics last year, when Craig appeared in the opening ceremony alongside Her Majesty the Queen. -SHOWBIZ DESK

MOVIE REVIEW

Mere Dad Ki Maruti — Post interval, plot catches speed SHOWBIZ DESK NEW DELHI: A dulhan getting jiggy on her own sangeet night? It's been known to happen. Especially when the bride belongs to a typical Punjabbi (double b, emphasis mine) family full of boister and cheer. In a delicious sequence from Mere Dad Ki Maruti, we are presented with a bride doing a fully-clothed shimmy which is just risqué enough to cause the following: the guests slack-jawed, the groom trying to hide his face, the bride's brother gulping a little, and the bride's mummyji beaming with pride at the near-scandalous moves. This gaana-bajaana encompasses without saying a word, what the movie takes nearly two too-long hours to say. That Punjabbis are hearty and full of heart is an old Hindi movie theme. That the Khullars of Chandigarh, headed by the rotund papaji (Ram Kapoor), are so intent on making their daughter's doli go off smoothly that they intend gifting their son-in-law a fully-loaded brand new Maruti

(or, to give it the right intonation, Mruti, in which the 'a' is hushed, and the 'u' is not at all subtle) car. That the sonny boy Khullar, also known as Sameer (Saqib Saleem), in order to impress soni kudi Jasleen ( Chakraborty) hooks off with said gaddi, and promptly falls into a series of misadventures, with his pal (Panjabi). And that in the end, everyone is very happy and jolly. I sat through the first half looking for something to surprise me. The boys are too standard-Punjabbimundas full of youthspeak (chal geda maar ke aate hain has much more meaning than the staid let's go for a drive), the girl (Rhea Chakraborty) too reminiscent of Bollywood's smart-mouthed gals, and their escapades aren't startlingly new either. But, post interval, things perk up. The plot catches speed, the writing smartens, and some twists leave you smiling. And the actors come out better too, more filled out, taking a cue from the lines they are made to say. At its best it is placid, and sort of middling, this Mere Dad Ki Maruti (even though

the car company must be delighted at this movie length endorsement: for a whole generation, 'the 800' was the height of aspiration ). The first time you hear Mr Khullar greet 'Smeer' (no self- respecting Punjabbi will say 'Sameer') with an inversion of a mild gaali, it's

funny. Not the next and the next. This sort of repetition makes the film feel longer than it is. And the inclusion of a fully filmi car thief ( Ravi Kissen) who narrows his kohl-laden eyes and speaks in Urdu, seems nothing more than a device to stretch a barely-there plot.

On the upside, the Punjabbiness is not exaggerated. No giddhas-bhangras. No bijis-baujis. And no rock-garden-Chandigarh or Sukhna-lake-Chandigarh. Just for this, and for what is termed a 'clean' family outing with Chunnu Munnu te Pappu, ik geda maar lo, ji.


CMYK MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

Afridi fireworks fail to save Pakistan JOHANNESBURG: Centuries by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers set up a 34-run victory for South Africa despite a thrilling innings by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi in the third one-day international at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday. Amla (122) and De Villiers (128) shared a world record third wicket partnership of 238 as South Africa made 343 for five after being sent in. Pakistan, who were bowled out for 309 to slip 2-1 down in the series, had been in deep trouble when Afridi walked in at 132 for five but he gave his side hope as he thrashed 88 off 48 balls with seven sixes and five fours. Afridi's innings included some of the biggest sixes seen at the Wanderers. One, after he had been bowled off a no-ball, was a mighty hit onto the roof of the four-tier Centenary stand which was last seen bouncing towards an adjacent golf course. Afridi was yorked by Ryan McLaren when he had 73 but a check requested by umpire Billy Bowden showed the bowler had over-stepped. McLaren then bowled a wide, which meant Afridi still had a free hit to which he committed all his power. There was one more six before he hit a full toss from Lonwabo Tsotsobe to McLaren at long-off. There was still a possibility of a reprieve as the umpires checked whether the full toss was above waist height, which would have meant another no-ball, before confirming the dismissal. Amla and De Villiers batted superbly after South Africa struggled early on, with left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan taking two early wickets. They beat by one run

scOREbOARd SOUTH AFRICA INNINGS G Smith b Mohammad Irfan 3 H Amla c Misbah b Wahab 122 C Ingram c Kamran b Irfan 17 A de Villiers c Malik b Ajmal 128 F du Plessis c Younis b Wahab 45 F Behardien not out 6 R McLaren not out 0 Did not bat: R Peterson, R Kleinveldt, D Steyn, L Tsotsobe EXTRAS (LB 8, NB 1, W 13) 22 TOTAL (5 wkts, 50 overs) 343 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4, 2-42, 3-280, 4-301, 5342 BOWLING: Mohammad Irfan 7-1-34-2 Junaid Khan 10-2-42-0 Wahab Riaz 10-0-93-2 Shahid Afridi 7-0-55-0 Mohammad Hafeez 6-0-49-0 Saeed Ajmal 10-0-62-1 PAKISTAN INNINGS Nasir Jamshed c Amla b Tsotsobe 10 Mohammad Hafeez c Steyn b Peterson 57 Kamran Akmal c De Villiers b McLaren 30 Younis Khan b Peterson 19 Misbahul Haq c De Villiers b McLaren 28 Shoaib Malik c Kleinveldt b Tsotsobe 4 Shahid Afridi c McLaren b Tsotsobe 88 Wahab Riaz b Kleinveldt 45 Saeed Ajmal c Kleinveldt b McLaren 8 Junaid Khan c and b Steyn 9 Mohammad Irfan not out 0 EXTRAS (LB 3, NB 1, W 7) 11 TOTAL (48.1 overs) 309 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-15, 2-97, 3-111, 4-123, 5132, 6-203, 7-244, 8-282, 9-304, 10-309 BOWLING: Steyn 10-1-48-1 Tsotsobe 10-0-74-3 Kleinveldt 9.1-1-77-1 Peterson 10-0-51-2 McLaren 9-0-56-3

AB de Villiers (C) of South Africa just makes it home as Pakistan wicket keeper Shoaib Malik attempts the run out during the 3rd ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday. –AGENCIES the previous one-day international third wicket record set by Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar for India against Kenya in 1999, to ensure that Pakistan would have a challenging run chase on a ground renowned for high scoring. De Villiers was quickly into his stride and the pair posted a fifty partnership off 38 balls. The rate slowed slightly when Pakistan

brought their spin bowlers into action. After 35 overs the total was 115 but the runs came in a torrent towards the end of the innings. The last 15 overs yielded 156 runs.Amla reached his 11th one-day international century off 99 balls, while De Villiers went to his 14th century in the format off 87 deliveries. Amla was caught at cover for 122 off 113 balls with nine fours and a six

and De Villiers was held at deep midwicket for 128 off 108 deliveries, with 12 fours and three sixes. Pakistan were briefly reduced to 10 men after Irfan, who had been a doubtful starter because of a hamstring strain, left the field for treatment. He was replaced by Umar Akmal but after 20 minutes the umpires informed Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq that the

maximum 20 minutes allowed for treatment had expired. Pakistan had a fielder short for two overs before Irfan returned. Wahab Riaz conceded 93 runs in his 10 overs – the most by a Pakistan bowler in one-day internationals. –AGENCIES

India in sight of victory against Aussies Kiwis frustrate MOHALI: Three wickets in a probing opening spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar left India in with hopes of reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Monday after Australia had done well to limit their lead to 91 on day four. A deserved five-wicket haul from Peter Siddle - just the second for an Australian bowler this series - had helped keep India to 499 but Bhuvneshwar's triple turned the screws on the tourists. Three down and trailing by 16 runs, Australia will hope that Phillip Hughes can convert his first significant score on into a big innings. The loss of David Warner, Ed Cowan and Steven Smith dented Australia after they had done well to keep India's lead to fewer than 100 considering the hosts were 283 for 0 when play started. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck in the first over of Australia's second innings, getting Warner to edge to MS Dhoni. In his fourth over, Bhuvneshwar won a fortuitous lbw shout against Cowan, when the ball appeared to be missing the stumps, but there was no doubt about Smith's dismissal. Pressing forward for inwards movement, Smith had his off stump sent cart-wheeling. Hughes, who had gotten off the mark with an edge for four past gully, backed himself to play his shots and reached his first fifty of the series, off 50 balls. He was once again vulnerable against spin, especially R Ashwin, but rode his luck to reach 53 not out at stumps. This passage set Australia back after Siddle and Mitchell Starc had bowled so well. Following the leather hunt they were

sent on yesterday, Australia enjoyed a productive day with the ball as they took all ten Indian wickets for 216 runs. Siddle struck in five times across three spells, the best of which was a two-wicket burst with the new ball after lunch, and wrapped up India's tail. His first success came in the second over when Shikhar Dhawan stabbed Nathan Lyon to silly point. Not long after, Cheteshwar Pujara was unfortunately given lbw for 1 to Siddle as Aleem Dar failed to spot an inside edge. These two wickets perked up Australia after a flattening day three, but they were kept hunting for the third by Murali

Vijay, who reached his third Test century before lunch. Australia's best session was the second, with the second new ball producing a collapse of 4 for 19. Having lost Sachin Tendulkar for 37 in the over before lunch, India returned in the afternoon trailing Australia by 24. A late dab off Steven Smith for four took Vijay past 150 and delivered India the lead, which prompted the taking of the second new ball. Immediately Starc swung it in sharply to Vijay whose decision to pad up proved his downfall, and two balls later Dhoni was suckered by a lateswinging low full toss. –AGENCIES

scOREbOARd AUSTRALIA FIRST INNINGS 408 INDIA 1ST INNINGS M Vijay lbw b Starc 153 S Dhawan c Cowan b Lyon 187 CA Pujara lbw b Siddle 1 SR Tendulkar c Cowan b Smith 37 V Kohli not out 67 MS Dhoni lbw b Starc 4 RA Jadeja c Haddin b Siddle 8 R Ashwin c Haddin b Siddle 4 B Kumar c Haddin b Henriques 18 I Sharma c Haddin b Siddle 0 PP Ojha b Siddle 1 EXTRAS (B 5, LB 13, NB 1) 19 TOTAL (all out; 132.1 overs) 499 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-289, 2-292, 3-384, 4-412, 5-416, 6427, 7-431, 8-492, 9-493 BOWLING MA Starc 23-5-74-2 PM Siddle 29.1-9-71-5 MC Henriques 15-1-62-1

NM Lyon 31-4-124-1 XJ Doherty 24-8-87-0 SPD Smith 10-0-63-1 AUSTRALIA 2ND INNINGS DA Warner c Dhoni b Kumar 2 8 EJM Cowan lbw b Kumar PJ Hughes not out 53 SPD Smith b Kumar 5 NM Lyon not out 4 To bat MJ Clarke, BJ Haddin, MC Henriques, XJ Doherty, MA Starc, PM Siddle EXTRAS (LB 2, NB 1) 3 TOTAL (3 wickets; 21 overs) 75 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-2, 2-35, 3-55 BOWLING B Kumar 8-1-25-3 I Sharma 2-0-11-0 R Ashwin 7-2-25-0 RA Jadeja 2-1-11-0 PP Ojha 2-1-1-0

Raikkonen wins Melbourne Grand Prix FORMULA ONE M EL BO U RN E : Kimi Raikkonen drove a brilliant race to win the Australian Grand Prix for Lotus on Sunday as the new Formula One season opened with an absolute thriller at Albert Park. Finland's 2007 world champion rode to victory on a two-stop strategy and crossed the line 12.4 seconds clear of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with triple world champion Sebastian Vettel rounding out the podium in third place for Red Bull. Vettel got away cleanly from

pole position but the variety of strategies forced on the teams by the tyres and the pace shown by Red Bull's rivals ensured this was never going to be a procession for the 25year-old German. A few light showers contributed to an intriguing race but never threatened to disfigure it as top drivers engaged in battles around the circuit and the lead frequently changed hands. Seven cars led the race at one stage or another but after Raikkonen hit the front for the second time on lap 43, it looked like only a mechanical problem would stop him from winning

Lotus Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland celebrates after winning on Sunday. his 20th grand prix to match compatriot Mika Hakkinen's career tally. "I knew I had a good car so I was confident we could have a good race," said Raikkonen, the former

McLaren and Ferrari driver who made his comeback last season after two years in rallying, on a podium of champions. "It was a pretty nice race. "We are happy with the win but there's an awful lot of work to do to win the championship." It was the first season-opening win by a team called Lotus since American Mario Andretti won the 1978 Argentine Grand Prix. Alonso's Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa finished fourth ahead of 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton in his first race for his new team Mercedes after leaving McLaren. –AGENCIES

England in second Test WELLINGTON: Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and persistent light rain on Sunday ensured that New Zealand's second Test against England at the Basin Reserve is most likely to end in a damp draw on Monday. The hosts were on 162 for two after the rain had disrupted much of the fourth day's play with 39 overs lost after lunch and 16 overs at the end of day due to more rain after play had resumed at 1710 local (0410 GMT). Williamson (55) and Taylor (41) had combined for an unbroken 81-run partnership in New Zealand's second innings after being forced to follow on, though they were still 49 runs from making England bat again, before they were forced off again at 1730 and despite attempts to restart, play was abandoned at 1755. "There was still a lot of time left in the game when we arrived here this morning, but in terms of making sure we don't lose the game it (the rain) has helped," New Zealand batsmen Peter Fulton told reporters. "There was a slight chance we could have batted well today and piled on some runs and put some pressure on England later tomorrow." New Zealand's MetService has forecast a southerly change and persistent rain for the Wellington region throughout Monday and a draw is now the most likely result. "We just have to turn up tomorrow and wait and see how the day turns out. If the weather is good we still have a lot of work to do." England's only

scOREbOARd ENGLAND FIRST INNINGS 465 NEW ZEALAND FIRST INNINGS 254 NEW ZEALAND SECOND INNINGS (following on; overnight 77-1) P Fulton c Cook b Anderson 45 H Rutherford c Bell b Panesar 15 K Williamson not out 55 R Taylor not out 41 EXTRAS (W-5, LB-1) 6 TOTAL (for two wickets, 68 overs) 162 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-25 2-81 BOWLING: Anderson 12-4-27-1 Broad 14-6-32-0 Finn 11-2-36-0 Panesar 26-12-44-1 Trott 3-0-10-0 Root 2-0-12-0

breakthrough came in the first session when Fulton prodded at a full-length James Anderson delivery and the ball flew to Alastair Cook at first slip. Fulton's dismissal for 45 left New Zealand 81-2 and with Monty Panesar extracting turn from the pitch, the hosts were nervously facing the prospect of losing the match. Taylor, who was on a king pair, negotiated his first delivery and got off the mark when Kevin Pietersen misfielded at mid-on, gradually growing in confidence as he fought off urges to attack Panesar, who was giving the ball more air. Their partnership became well established as they inched closer to lunch and Williamson brought up his sixth test half century with his seventh boundary when he pulled a short Joe Root delivery to midwicket shortly before the break. Light rain then began falling at lunch and groundstaff placed covers over the wicket block at the start of the break. –AGENCIES

A high scoring thriller? KAASHEF AHMAD

can’t say I would ever wear pink but when the South Africans came out to bat dressed in bright pink uniforms, I felt Pakistan had missed a trick. These are trying times for Pakistan both as a cricketing team and as a country and we should not let a public PR opportunity of projecting a soft image of our nation go by. A little more expression than a minute ribbon on the sleeves could have gone a long way – after all aren’t we suppose to be the ambassadors of our country while touring abroad. We were never going to chase down 340 plus against South Africa in South Africa with the kind of batting we have, but hoping to put up a fight is the least we expect from the eleven professionals who are selected to play for their country. Nasir Jamshed got out as he has usually does in this series - a soft dismissal after playing some good shots. Hafeez played well and kept up the rate until he got out after scoring a brisk 57. The other top order batsmen did not offer much. A chase as steep as this requires a constant supply of boundaries as well as rotation of strike throughout. While our batsmen do not matchup to that of South African team, our bowlers would have been well-served to emulate the small things that the Proteas did better while bowling on a placid pitch. They frequently rolled their fingers on the ball to take the pace off, bowled strictly to their fields and kept the pressure by getting regular wickets. Where the South Africans moved about in their crease to play in the gaps regularly, it was frustrating to watch our batsman play straight to the fielders time and again. All this changed when Afridi came in to bat and provided entertainment in a way that only he can, making a quick fire 88 of 48 balls, enthralling the crowd no ends and giving hope to us back home. But the writing started appearing on the walls as Misbah got out to a horrid shot and then later when Afridi finally went with still a hundred runs to get of 88 balls. Wahab Riaz offered some resistance batting with much more purpose than the so called stalwarts of our team but in the end it was a little big a task. Pakistan had brought in Wahab Riaz in place of Umar Gul who has had a forgettable tour so far, citing a bad knee as the reason – an old trick of the Pakistan management when they want to rest a non-performing player but are too afraid to speak the truth. Irfan again drew first blood to vindicate Misbah’s decision as did Junaid who bowled a miserly spell to keep the Proteas in check. Irfan came back in the 14th over to remove Ingram. But that is where, Pakistans dominance ended. The wicket of Ingram brought in the indomitable de Villiars who as he usually does starting changing the tempo of the innings. Amla too changed gears as the fluency returned to South African cricket. Runs started to flow easily as the rest of the bowlers, especially the much touted spin attack proved as ineffective as they had in the series so far. The great thing about the batting of these two was the ease by which they rotated the strike, seldom taking any risks and all the while upping the run rate. Misbah appeared clueless as he often does when his initial plan fails – the plan being to put the opposition in to bat first and then hope Irfan (or in the time past, Ajmal) to run through the top order. If that doesn’t work, his contingency plan is to sit back, put fielders on the fence and hope for the best. To make matters worse, Hafeez dropped an easy catch of Amla when he was in his 30s. Amla went on to make a 122 runs in a record partnership of 238 runs of 194 balls. De Villiers, who has been Pakistans’s tormentor-in-chief throughout this series, scored another century making 128 from just 108 balls. This is what world-class talent looks like. Umer Akmal who has a similar batting style and I believe talent to match, should take a cue from this guy. Surely if Malik is to be picked as a batsman, the younger Akmal is a far superior batsman. The decision to bat first that came off so well in the second one day because of Irfan’s spell and the impatience of South Africans due to imminent rain, suddenly wasn’t looking so great once Misbah initial plan had backfired. Wahab Riaz who has performed so well in the domestic circuit, found out what it is to play against a quality side, though in his defense, he did create a few chances that went-a-begging. du Plessis came in and played a cameo of 45 off 19 deliveries to take South Africa to 343 for the loss of just 5 wickets, leaving a daunting task for the (too) experienced batting lineup of Pakistan.

I

Sangakkara, Chandimal steady Sri Lanka in final Test COL OM BO: Kumar Sangakkara continued his purple patch against Bangladesh and hit an unbeaten 127 to guide Sri Lanka to 294 for six at close on the second day of the second and final Test on Sunday. Sangakkara hit his third consecutive century in the series and with Dinesh Chandimal (102) helped the hosts overcame a top-order collapse and take a 54-run lead at the close of play. The left-handed batsman, who became the fifth Sri Lankan to hit centuries in both innings of a test match in the drawn Galle test last week, shared a 195-run stand with Chandimal to bail out the hosts after a wobbly morning session. Rubel Hossain bowled Chandimal to put an end to the partnership, which helped Sri Lanka go past

Bangladesh's first innings total of 240. He also dismissed Kithuruwan Vithanage (12), caught by Mominul Haque at deep cover. Bangladesh were on top in the first session of the day after taking three quick wickets and Sri Lanka were reeling at 69 for four at one stage before Sangakkara and Chandimal fought back. Sangakkara, who also hit three centuries in as many innings against India in 2009-10, drove off-spinner Sohag Gazi straight down the ground to complete his 33rd test century. Resuming the second day's play on 18 for one, Sri Lanka lost opener Dimuth Karunaratne (17) when Abul Hasan beat him with extra pace to induce an edge behind the stumps. Robiul Islam then dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne for a

scOREbOARd BANG LADESH 1ST INNINGS 240 (Mominul Haque 64; R. Herath 5-68) SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS (overnight 18-1): D Karunaratne c Rahim b Abul 17 T Dilshan c Rahim b Robiul 0 K. Sangakkara not out 127 L Thirimanne c Rahim b Robiul 0 A. Mathews c Mahmudullah b Gazi 16 D Chandimal b Rubel 102 K Vithanage c Mominul b Rubel 12 N Kulasekara not out 2 EXTRAS (B 2, NB 10, W 6) 18 TOTAL (for six wickets; 93 overs) 294 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-7, 2-39, 3-43, 4-69, 5264, 6-280

duck as the batsman went for a drive but ended up giving wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim his third catch of the innings. Sri Lanka's trouble

BOWLING: Robiul 15-1-52-2 Gazi 30-4-84-1 Abul 18-4-62-1 Rubel 14-3-41-2 Mahmudullah 10-1-36-0 Mominul 2-0-6-0 Ashraful 2-0-9-0 Nasir 2-0-2-0 Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG) and Nigel Llong (ENG) TV umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI) Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

compounded when skipper Angelo Mathews (16) was caught in the slip trying to play a defensive shot to a Gazi delivery. –AGENCIES

CMYK

Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara plays a shot during the second day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday. –AGENCIES


cmyk MONDAY

THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD

MARCH 18, 2013

IHK troops intensify swoop on separatists SUSHANT SAREEN



SRINAGAR: As the tension remains high in the valley after execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru, the Indian government has intensified crackdown on senior separatist leadership. Just ahead of issuing of fresh protests for the next week by MMM, (an amalgam of various separatist and trade unions), police has raided residences of varies separatist leaders and alleged stone pellters to arrest them. The manhunt has been launched particularly on Mutahida Majlise-Mashavrat (MMM) apart from second rung leaders of separatist organisations to counter their week long protest calendars. Senior separatist leaders, including chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik have been placed under house arrest at their respective residences. During their manhunt, the police have arrested Advocate Zahid Ali, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Gh Nabi Zaki and G M Nagoo and various other separatist leaders on the charges that they were issuing protest calendars in absence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani when he was placed under house arrest at New Delhi after Mohammad Afzal Guru was executed in Tihar Jail. The senior separatist Shabir Ahmad Shah, who was arrested last month, was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and shifted to Kot Balwal jail Jammu. Nayeem Khan, Agha Syed

Mirwaiz, Yasin, Geelani put under house arrest Hassan Al Moosvi, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza are still in the police lockups. Police have also arrested scores of alleged stone-pelters in various districts of the Held Valley for the last couple of weeks to prevent a repeat of 2010 unrest. Majority of the youth have been arrested in Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam areas. The police officials are saying that the crackdown on the separatist leaders will continue in the coming days also as they will not allow them a free hand to disturb peace. However, the separatist parties, particularly MMM has said such tactics would not allow them to deter and they would continue to issue protest calendars till New Delhi will not fulfill

its single point agenda of return of mortal remains of Mohammad Afzal Guru, hanged on February 9. The MMM have also denounced the arrest spree of the separatist leaders and youths across the valley. They called the arrest high handedness on part of authorities and claimed that their will continue their agitation by issuing the week long protest calendars. The separatist leadership has also said that state government is using force against protesters and has launched a large scale crackdown including nocturnal raids against youth in Srinagar and across Held Kashmir. The Police have arrested more then 500 youth in past one month in Kashmir valley since Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was executed in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, out of these arrested youths only few have been released by

Lyari gang leader killed in shootout

Balochistan prosecutor general recovered QUETTA: Balochistan Prosecutor General Wasay Tareen, who was kidnapped three weeks ago, was recovered from Zhob area on Sunday. Wasay Tareen’s brother, advocate Sajid Tareen said tribal elders used their influence which led to Prosecutor General’s recovery from Daraband area between Zhob and DI Khan. He said local administration and government officials played no role in his brother’s recovery. Tareen was kidnapped on Feb 27 near Quetta when he was on way to Islamabad for Supreme Court’s hearing in Balochistan unrest case. –ONLINE

militants bomb cD shops near Peshawar PESHAWAR: Unknown militants set off an explosive device early on Sunday morning damaging four CD shops in Mattani area in the outskirts of Peshawar near Kohat Road and the bordering area with Darra Adamkhel. A pamphlet was found at the site of explosion which warned of more attacks against those engaged in the ‘un-Islamic’ businesses. A local trader in the area confirmed that a pamphlet was received in the market according to which, all ‘immoral’ businesses would face share the same fate as the targeted CD shop. A local police official said one kilogram of explosive material was used in the blast adding that no one was harmed in the attack. –AGENCIES

Shahbaz opens rebuilt church in Joseph colony LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the repair work of the affected houses of Christians at Joseph Town in Lahore is in progress and the construction will be completed before March 23. He was talking to the newsmen after inaugurating a repaired Church at Joseph Town in Lahore on Sunday afternoon. He said so far 60 repaired houses had been handed over to the inhabitants. He said Christian Community had played a pivotal role in the development sector‚ including that of education. –AGENCIES



Arshad Pappu, brother gunned down  Friend tortured to death  2 cops among 6 others killed

OUR STAFF REPORTER

KARACHI: PPP leader Sardar Nabeel Gabol coming to join MQM at Nine Zero. –ONLINE

Assad’s family makes rare appearance DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar alAssad's wife and his children have made a rare public appearance at a charity fundraiser here for mothers of soldiers killed in the two-year conflict, his office said on Facebook Sunday. The office said that Asma al-Assad, her three children as well as their cousins "took part Saturday in a charity event called... at the Damascus Opera House on the occasion of Mother's Day." The event, dubbed 'Mothers Rally', was aimed at raising funds for the mothers of Syrian soldiers killed in fighting with rebels through the sale of crafts, the office said in a statement. Assad's stylish Britishborn and British-educated wife is rarely seen in public, let alone with her three children - two sons and a daughter. In

June last year Russia dismissed as "rumours" speculation on the Internet she had taken refuge in the country amid the escalating violence in Syria. In January Assad's mother, Anisa Makhluf, reportedly left the war-torn country for Dubai to join her daughter Bushra, according to Syrian expatriates and an activist in the United Arab Emirates. Bushra's husband General Assef Shawkat, an army deputy chief of staff, was killed along with three other high-ranking Syrian officials in a July 18, 2012 bombing at the National Security headquarters in Damascus. The following September, Syrian residents in the Gulf emirate said that Bushra had enrolled her five children at a private school in Dubai where she had moved. –AGENCIES

9 Indian boats with 55 fishermen seized AHMEDABAD: Pakistan Marine Security Agency (PMSA) has seized nine Indian fishing boats and apprehended 55 fishermen off Jakhau coast near the international border, a fishermen's body claimed on Sunday. "The PMSA intercepted nine fishing boats in the international waters off Jakhau coast near Jamnagar. Fiftyfive fishermen apprehended by the agency were sent to Karachi," National Fish Workers' Forum general secretary Manish Lodhari told PTI. The boats were from Porbandar and the fishermen hailed from Gujarat, he said. –AGENCIES

Former ministers asked to return official belongings ISLAMABAD: After the dissolution of National Assembly, Cabinet Division has asked former ministers and advisors to return back all the state items and facilities which were under their use. In this regard, Cabinet Division has issued the notifications in which ex-federal ministers, state ministers, advisors and special assistants to Prime Minister have been asked to return all the official items including car, house, furniture and other facilities to the government forthwith. All the police officials deputed on the guard duties with the ministers are also asked to report in the police lines of their respective divisions immediately. –ONLINE

the police. Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq could not participate in the “India Today Conclave” programme being held at New Delhi on March 15 and 16, due to his continuous house arrest. According to party spokesman, Mirwaiz Umar was invited for the programme to give his view point about prevailing political situation in Kashmir, human rights and resolution of the Kashmir issue. The spokesman said that Mirwaiz could not participate in the programme due to his continues house arrest. “Using such repressive measures to prevent Mirwaiz from opining his views and restricting his activities in these tense political circumstances, the government is making mockery of democracy and turning Jammu and Kashmir into a totalitarian State,” the spokesman added.

Asma al-Assad is greeted during an event for mothers of martyred soldiers.

PAT announces polls boycott

Qadri to hold sit-ins on election day OUR STAFF REPORTER

RAWALPINDI: The cleric, who took to the streets in Islamabad in front of the parliament house and demanded an elected government to step down, on Sunday announced not to participate in the upcoming general elections. Speaking to a public gathering at Liaquat Bagh, Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri announced to boycott the forthcoming polls citing lack of implementation upon proposals he had given to the government at the time of ending his days-long sit-in in the federal capital earlier in January this year. Dr Qadri said that electoral reforms promised to him were not fulfilled and he was not willing to become part of the corrupt electoral system, being run by corrupt people as well. He declared the polls under current election commission fraudulent and said his party will protest on the polling day across the country. “Our workers will hold sit-ins on the day of election at every polling station in the country.” Qadri had accused the government of corruption and incompetence, and called for sweeping reforms to be enacted by a caretaker administration before polls.

KARACHI: The city Sunday remained tense after Arshad Pappu, a key character of the turf war in Lyari and his brother were gunned down in early morning shootout. Police sources said that Pappu and his brother Arafat were killed at Brohi Chowk in Lyari by a rival group. Another of Pappu’s key lieutenants Juma Shera, alias Shera Pathan, was shot down on Adam Road. Police said they came to know about Pappu’s murder after the news that two unknown people had been killed in Lyari. Later on the bodies were recognised as those of Pappu and his brother Arafat. There were reports of firing in Lyari till late night. The people of the neighbourhood took the bodies into their custody. Pathan’s body was moved to the Civil Hospital. Witnesses said that Pathan’s neck and other parts of the bodies had been cut. There were also rumours that the two brothers might have been kidnapped first and later were killed. Pappu was wanted in more than 50 cases of murders and many more cases were registered against him in Maripiur, Manghopir and Baldia Town police stations. Pappu was the main rival of Uzair Baloch, the head of the banned People’s Peace Committee, which was being patronised by some senior leaders of Pakistan People’s

Party. Moreover, two policemen and four other persons were killed and six others injured in various incidents of violence across the city. Two policemen were gunned down in SITE area of the metropolis. According to SSP Asif Ijaz Shaikh, the incident took place when unidentified armed men opened fire at a police vehicle deployed in SITE area, resultantly two policemen died on the spot. Two persons were shot dead near Memon Masjid in Boulton market area of the city. Another person was killed while resisting a robbery in Landhi’s Zafar Town area in Karachi. A trader was killed in a gun-firing incident near New Sabzimandi on Super Highway. A number of enraged locals took out a protest after the incident. The protestors pelted stones at cars and blocked the flow of traffic on the Super Highway. A father and son suffered gunshot wounds while resisting a robbery in Nazimabad area. Three persons were injured in a gunfiring incident in Sariya Galli in Kharadar area of the city. Another person suffered gunshot wounds in a firing incident in Moosa lane of Karachi’s Lyari area.

Ex- LeJ chief involved in Daniel Pearl murder held KARACHI: Sindh Rangers on Sunday claimed to have arrested Qari Abdul Hai aka Asadullah, the former Ameer of the Lashkir-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Sindh chapter. Rangers told reporters said Hai, who was also involved in American Journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder case, was arrested during raid in University Road area of the city. They said that the accused was also wanted in different incident of terrorism by the police since 1994. “The accused also planned to attack American troops at Karachi airports in December 2012 but he postponed the attack after the killing of his associate Asif Ramzi,” sources said. Moreover, the Rangers said Hai was also involved in sending bomb parcels to the CID officials. –ONLINE

286 officials of lower judiciary penalised MASOOD REHMAN ISLAMABAD: After the enforcement of National Judicial Policy on June 1, 2009, about 286 officials of the subordinate judiciary of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced action on the charges of moral and financial corruption and breach of ‘code of conduct’, whereas no such case was reported in Balochistan. An overwhelming majority of lawyers practicing with the subordinate courts of various districts across the country believe that despite the lapse of about two years and 10 months after its enforcement on June 1, 2009, the policy had so far been failed to achieve its targets at the district level judiciary, where cases were still not being disposed of in accordance with its’ guidelines and corruption was rampant. They claimed that as far as disposal

of cases is concerned, the situation is worst almost in all the provinces, particularly in Punjab. They said the cases at the district level judiciary are not being decided speedily. Just after the enforcement of the policy, a cell for eradication of corruption from subordinate judiciary was established in each high court under the supervision of its respective chief justice for disciplinary action against the corrupt and incompetent judicial officers and court officials. These cells receive complaints through the registrar of the respective high courts. Since enforcement of the policy, many disciplinary actions have been taken against those judicial officers and court officials who were involved in such practices. According to statistics, during the two years and 10 months after the enforcement of the policy, in the Punjab province, 83 officials were dismissed, four judicial

officers and 46 officials were removed, one judicial officer and 13 officials were terminated, seven judicial officers and 32 officials were compulsory retired from the service. In Sindh province, 31 officials were dismissed, six judicial officers and five officials were compulsorily retired from service. Similar major penalties were imposed against nine judicial officers and 17 officials. In the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, nine judicial officers and seven officials were compulsorily retired, three officials were removed and major penalties were imposed against two judicial officers. However no case of corruption was reported in the district judiciary of Balochistan province. Before the enforcement of National Judicial Policy, majority of cases were disposed of mere on technical grounds. However after the enforcement of the policy, directions

were passed to the district judiciary to decide the cases on merit after providing full opportunity of hearing to the parties, so that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly be seen to have been done. The National Judicial Policy suggested strict adherence to the ‘code of conduct’ by all the judicial officers and officials and initiation of disciplinary action against the corrupt ones. According to legal practitioners of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the short term and long term measures for expeditious disposal of cases set in the judicial policy have not yet been met. They said the judicial policy envisages that the bail applications should be decided by magistrates in three days, whereas ground reality was against it, as such cases were taking weeks and months for getting decided. They said the criminal cases

punishable with imprisonment from one to seven years registered after January 1, 2009 were not being kept on fast track for disposal within three months, which was a violation of the provisions of judicial policy. They said the stay matters were not being decided within 15 days of grant of interim injunction. Besides, they said the rent cases were not being decided speedily within a prescribed period of 30 days, adding that the civil appeals, writ petitions and other miscellaneous review petitions pertaining to rent matters were also not being decided in 90 days. They said according to judicial policy, the family cases should be decided within three months, however such cases were taking half-an-year to year in getting decided. They said the civil appeals arising out of family cases, custody of minors and against interim orders were not being decided the prescribed time of 30 days.


The Spokesman