RAJA RENTAL THE TOP DOG FOR BOOKIES PG I 03 Jamadi-us-Saani 21, 1434
tHuRSDAy may 02, 2013
LIBERAL, DEMOCRATIC, PROGRESSIVE, SECULAR?
THE PERILS OF PROGRESS
– AAMIR HUSSAINI
– EHSAN KAZI
PG I 06
PG I 07
Vol, VI, No. 13
TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 37 LOW: 18 mostly sunny and hot
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
Balochistan IGP in Capital to arrest Musharraf AYYID AHMED
ISLAM ABAD: There seems to be no letup for former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as Balochistan Inspector General of Police Sardar Majeed Dasti flew in from Quetta to Islamabad to arrest the commando on Wednesday. The trial court in Sibbi had asked for Musharraf ’s arrest in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case. The case was registered against Musharraf after the Balochistan High Court intervened. It is yet to be seen how the compliance in Islamabad will take place as the general is under
BHC order’s compliance in Bugti murder case unlikely
house arrest at his farmhouse that has been declared as a sub-jail. Most likely, the Balochistan Police will register Musharraf ’s arrest in Islamabad but leave him here for investigating. It will be difficult for the commando to be taken to Quetta for security reasons. The downside of this for Musharraf is that he will have to go to Sibbi at some stage to get his bail. He can apply for a protective bail from Quetta High Court but ultimately visit Sibbi. Balochistan High Court has
already summoned former district coordination officer of Dera Bugti and an imam, who had led the funeral prayer of Nawab Akbar Bugti, and sought a report in the murder case. The petition filed by Nawab Bugti’s son Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti. The bench was earlier informed that former DCO Abdul Samad Lasi has already been terminated from his service. The local mosque’s Imam Maulvi Maulock had informed the court that he had led the funeral prayer
under pressure from the former DCO without seeing the face of Nawab Bugti in the coffin. Sources said the investigation team has officially included Lasi in the interrogation and that the Balochistan Home Secretary has contacted his Sindh counterpart for the former DCO’s detention. Former president is already undergoing a physical remand of 14 days and is being interrogated by a joint investigations team constituted by Commissioner Islamabad on the orders of Anti
Terrorist Court (ATC). Musharraf is facing multiple charges including detention of over 60 judges after pronouncing emergency in the country, suspending the constitution and killing of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Akbar Bugti. Representative of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were not included in the sixmember JIT for certain reasons. The Section 7 of ATA was included on the order of Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the FIR (No 131) registered on August 11, 2009 with early Section 344 PPC.
Political parties continue to bear the brunt
SNEAK PEEK Labourers are Pakistan’s asset, says Kakakhel
Terror rules runoff to polls
Federal Minister for Human Resource Development Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, addressing a convention organised by the Workers Welfare Fund, said that Pakistan is the home of the most creative, dynamic and talented workers in the world. Page 02
Rockets fired at JUI-F election rally in Harnai Bomber blows self near candidate’s convoy in Shikarpur Another attack on ANP in Mingora
Pakistani drama’s battle with foreign content continues
OUR STAFF REPORTERS
The influx of foreign content on local television channels continues to be a source of distress for the local entertainment industry. With prime time hours being awarded to Turkish soaps, the Pakistani entertainment industry feels betrayed and distraught and at the same time their battle for ratings continues. Page 04
QUETTA/SWAT/SHIKARPUR: Three provinces –Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - remained in grip of violence as Wednesday saw a firing attack on an Awami National Party (ANP) candidate, rocket attack on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-e-Fazl (JUI-F) election rally and a suicide attack on National Peoples Party (NPP) candidate. Violence has spiked ahead of national elections on May 11, with at least 61 people killed in attacks on politicians and political parties since April 11. ANP candidate Wajid Ali Khan contesting provincial assembly seat from Sway (PK-80) escaped terror attack in Mingora on Wednesday. Unknown gunmen opened fire at his campaign office in Mangora city, local police said adding the ANP leader who is former provincial minister escaped the attack. Earlier during the day, a suicide bomber targeted the convoy of the NPP candidate Mohammad Ibrahim Jatoi in Shikarpur district of Sindh. Two passers-by were wounded in the attack, while Jatoi remained safe. Six people sustained injuries as over 10 rockets were fired on an election rally of the JUI-F in the
Imran urges youth to persuade parents Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday urged people to vote not on the basis of personality‚ sectarian or ethnic basis but for the ideology and the youth must convince their parents to vote for a change. Addressing public gatherings in Jacobabad and Sibi, the PTI chairman said that this was the time of the change of the system; therefore‚ masses must come out for this change. He asked the youth to bring 10 persons on their bike on polling day. Page 05
New audit manuals for DISCOs In order to improve efficiency and performance of power distribution companies in the country, the USAID with the assistance of DISCOs is introducing new modern mechanism of audit for DISCOs. In this regard the USAID Power Distribution Program organised a one-day workshop. Page 09
Lollywood’s classic ﬁlm Aaina to be remade These days many of Pakistan's super-hit classic films are being remade into telefilms for the new generation. Now the classic movie Aaina is being remade, which will be directed by Sarmad Khoosat. The lead actors will be Faisal Qureshi and Saba Qamar. Page 10
Bailey becomes Australia vice-captain George Bailey was Wednesday handed the vice-captaincy of Australia's squad for their defence of the Champions Trophy, while promising fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile won a call-up. The eightnation tournament starts in England next month with Bailey getting the nod as Michael Clarke's number two in place of Shane Watson. Page 11
KARACHI: Deputy Convener of MQM Dr. Farooq Sattar, president of Sindh ANP Senator Shahi Syed, former federal interior minister Rehman Malik, former Sindh minister Dr. Sagheer Ahmad and ANP leader Bashir Jan joining hands to express solidarity during a press conference at Mardan House. –ONLINE
ECP unveils security plan
5-7 securitymen at each poll station
ECP says Army to act as quick response force
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) finalised the security plan, deciding to deploy security forces on May 10 in polling stations across Pakistan. There will be seven security personnel deployed on most sensitive polling stations, five on moderately sensitive and four on the remaining. The army will only be utilised as a quick response force in emergency with 20 to 30 personnel in each squad. Moreover, the ECP also directed polling staff to extend all available facilities to elderly, deaf and special persons to facilitate them to cast votes. In the directives, the ECP asked the election staff to allow the elderly, handicapped and pregnant women to cast their votes first besides providing every possible help to them so that no inconvenience is caused to them. The ECP said religious minorities have a specific problem to face that they may meet discriminatory treatment at the hands of polling staff at certain polling stations. The polling staff should not mete out discriminatory treatment to any one in terms of electoral process. More Army troops deployed in Balochistan: More army troops have been
deployed in far flung districts of Balochistan to ensure security during the upcoming general elections. According to Pakistan Army spokesman, a contingent of 800 troops left here for far flung areas of Naseerabad, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi, Musa Khel, Kohlu, Sheerani, Dalbandin, Ziarat and Harnai. So far, a total of 1250 troops have been deployed in various districts of Balochistan including Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Panjgur, Kharan, Avaran and Naushki. It may be recalled that according to Secretary Interior Akbar Durrani, a total of 70,000 security personnel would be deployed across the province including 6000 from Army, 17000 from FC, 20,000 from Police, 17,000 from Levies, and 10,000 from Balochistan Constabulary.
5 militants being grilled for plots to attack Army MONITORING DESK
LAHORE: Pakistani secret agencies are probing five prisoners for allegedly plotting attacks on Army convoys and senior military officers, a report in BBC Urdu Service reveals Wednesday. As per the report, a civilian intelligence agency has shifted the five prisoners, detained at Bahawalpur and Adiala prisons for the past three years, to unknown locations for investigation. The detainees are suspected of having links with the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and feared Ghazi Force militant groups. The report says the prisoners are being probed for involvement in plots to attack military targets, as well as conspiring to abduct senior military officials and their family members. It quoted sources as saying that the suspects were picked up for communicating with their partners in Miranshah and Kohat. “The suspects were allegedly issuing directions to coordinate attacks on the military and paramilitary forces.”
Harnai area of Balochistan. The rockets were fired from a nearby mountain range as the provincial president of the party Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani was about to deliver his speech. Sherani and his party members remained safe as the rockets landed in an area close to the rally injuring civilians but fortunately no casualties were reported. “More than a dozen rockets were fired, two rockets landed inside the city near the rally. Six people have been injured,” Yasir Khan, the deputy commissioner of Harnai said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Khan said soldiers deployed for the security of the rally appeared to have been the target. According to media reports, it is feared that more injuries are expected due to the rockets attack as children were also present in the election rally. The injured were rushed to nearby hospital for medical treatment. In another incident, three people were reported injured when a bomb exploded in Balochistan’s Dera Murad Jamali region. The blast took place near the convoy of an independent candidate for PB-32, Allah Dino, in the district’s Kachchi Pul area.
‘Victim’ parties see conspiracy KARACHI: The leaders of PPP, MQM and ANP on Wednesday called upon ulema and scholars to issue a fatwa against terrorism and termed the elections as a battle between forces which were for and against the Taliban. PPP’s Rehman Malik, MQM’s Farooq Sattar and ANP’s Shahi Syed addressing a news briefing here expressed apprehensions as to whether elections in the current circumstances could be held in a free and transparent manner. These three parties which are considered progressive have been facing terrorist attacks recently forcing them to restrict their election campaigns. Dozens of political activists from PPP, MQM and ANP have been killed in these attacks. In an apparent reference to PML-N and PTI, they questioned why some political parties have been given freedom to carry out their election activities while others have become constant target for the extremists. They said a conspiracy was being hatched to ensure that right wing parties come to power in the May 11 elections. They urged the people to support them in the polls and defeat the “nefarious designs of extremists and terrorists”. MQM’s Farooq Sattar said progressive parties were being prevented from actively participating in election campaigns. –AGENCIES
US irked by bashing in election campaigns
Worried over nationalist or pro-Taliban govt emerging from polls US team concludes visit a day before Osama’s anniversary
ISLAMABAD: Talks of increased anti-US sentiments dominating the election scene in Pakistan has caused some genuine concerns amongst US administration in Washington and they seem to have decided an increased interaction with the only stable institution in Pakistan; i.e. army through diplomatic, military and regional channels, learned The Spokesman on good authority. To build on the two meetings between General Kayani and US secretary of State John Kerry in the last one month outside Pakistan, visit of
army delegations, President Obama’s special envoy on Af-Pak to GHQ and finally a game-setting Urdu speech of Pakistan Army’s Chief, a high powered congressional US delegation concluded its three day visit to Pakistan a day before Osama Bin Laden’s death anniversary on Wednesday. Five member delegation of four senators and a congressman led by Senator Joe Donnelly called on Chief of Army Staff on the eve of his much talked about speech, besides having parleys with defence secretary, secretary of foreign affairs and selectgroup of civil society representatives. Escorting the delegation was US
Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson in all these meetings. Fears of a nationalistic or proTaliban government emerging from next week’s elections remains one of the fears on which US administration is more concerned these days, sources said. “It would be disastrous for USPakistan relations,” sources quoted a US delegate sharing his thoughts with Pakistani diplomats. Officially, US embassy in Islamabad says that Pakistan and the US Wednesday exchanged views on current status of bilateral relations, upcoming elections in Pakistan, and regional issues including the situation
in Afghanistan. Meetings with the Khaki establishment, however, remained the crux of this latest visit; revealed sources close of establishment and foreign affairs circles. Many in those circles believe that recent speech of army chief was an outcome of these recent meetings. Americans are getting exasperated with the emerging scenario of another hung parliament in the country and has taken serious stock of the statements of PML-N and PTI leaders who are openly talking about severing relations with US. Talks of downing the US drones and pressurizing the US to act more responsibly in war on
terror have gained much more importance for US administration in Washington, sources said. In line with what General Kayani had underscored in his speech just 10 days before elections 2013 in Pakistan, Washington has also come up with its “concern over wave of violence surrounding Pakistan” while hoping that “electoral process should continue therein.” “The US is concerned over ongoing wave of violence in Pakistan but “we want electoral process should continue therein”, said Patrick Ventrell, Acting Deputy Spokesperson of US State department in his daily press briefing.
CMYK THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Final list of Rawalpindi polling stations approved ISLAMABAD: District Returning Officer Syed Maroof Ali Shah has approved the final list of polling stations in Rawalpindi district regarding coming elections. According to polling scheme, 263,120 voters would exercise their right to vote in Rawalpindi district while 180,000 officials would render their election duties. There would be 2,149 polling stations in the district. There are total 39 polling stations for women in NA50 while 40 for male and other 322 common polling stations for both male and females. While in NA-51, 48 polling stations are for females and 53 for male and 267 polling stations are common for male and females. ONLINE
Cops find young motorcyclists a soft target HOMER BALOCH
ISLAMABAD: The police, deployed at check points, have found the young motorcyclists as their soft target to mint money in the name of checking vehicle registration book and driving license. A victim of Industrial Area police, Arshad Ali told “The Spokesman,” “I was stopped at the check post by the police near Faizabad. They asked me
for my bike documents which I showed them. But one of the police officials said that I must pay them some money, otherwise they will impound my bike.” He further said that the police official asked him in a satiric tone to take a glass of water from the water cooler placed next to their check post to refresh energies and also place rupees 500 underneath the glass before coming again to them.
“I had no other option but to do the same,” he told. He said the police officials had removed their name badges from their uniforms just to hide their identities. “I asked one of the officials his name but he refused to disclose by saying that I have nothing to do with their names,” Arshad said. Another victim Faooq Aslam said, “I could not determine whether they were police officials
or dacoits wearing police uniforms, when they asked me for bribe, as they were not having their name badges on their chests. They warned me of serious consequences, if I did not pay them bribe”. He said he also succeeded in fleeing from the scene after paying the officials Rs 500. He said along with him, there were also other bikers stopped at the check-post out of them some
6 outlaws arrested; huge cache of weapons seized ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Police on Wednesday arrested six outlaws from various areas of the city wanted to police in crime cases of heinous nature and recovered huge cache of weapons from them, a police spokesman said. SSP Islamabad Yaeen Farooq assigned the task to DSP CIA Zubair Sheikh to take prompt action against those selling weapons in an illegal manner. A special team headed by him raided at arms and ammunition shop in Tarmari Chowk and recovered five 12 bore rifles, three SMG guns, four pistols, one revolver and 50 bullets from it. Accuse Pervez Khan running this business illegally was also arrested and he is being investigate. Meanwhile, Sub-Inspector Saleem Ullah from CIA Police nabbed Sharif Ullah and recovered one 30 bore from him. ASI Muhammad Nawaz from Margalla Police station arrested a drunkard Nasir Maroof and recovered one bottle wine from him. ASI Shahid Munair from Sabzi Mandi police station arrested accuse Zar Rasheed and recovered a 30-bore pistol from him. ASI Muhammad Tariq Khan arrested two accused Ejaz Ahmed and Zafar Ali for possessing illegal CNG kits. ONLINE
Vendors encroach commercial areas ISLAMABAD: The vendors have encroached on footpaths in different commercial areas of twin cities, creating problems not only for the pedestrians but also in the smooth flow of traffic. The shopkeepers and vendors at Karachi Company, Aabpara, Faizabad, Bhara Kahu, Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, Double Road and adjoining bazaars, have encroached on the footpaths. The shopkeepers display goods on pavements while vendors put up stalls on footpaths, forcing pedestrians to walk in the middle of the roads. The residents complained that crossing the roads was very difficult for them, because all the footpaths had been covered with illegal encroachments. ONLINE
Clean and Green Campaign reaches Sector G-9 ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority would launch “Clean and Green Islamabad” campaign in Sector G-9 from May 2. The three days campaign would also be extended to sectors I-10, G-10 and G-11 of the federal capital. CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz has directed Environment Wing, Sanitation Directorate, City Sewerage Division, Enforcement Directorate, Municipal Administration, Water Supply and Engineering Wing to ensure their participation in the campaign. Syed Tahir Shahbaz has requested residents to cooperate so as to make the campaign successful. ONLINE
A PPP worker carrying a banner as she takes part in a protest outside National Press Club. ONLINE
Islamabad Literature Festival draws large crowd ISLAMABAD: Enthralled with conversations, book launching, lectures and reading sessions; the first Islamabad Literature Festival organised by the Oxford University Press engrossed great number of visitors and celebrities. On the second day of the festival, debates were arranged on Urdu Afsanah, changes in the linguistics through the passage of time, Dastan or Shairi (Story and Poetry) and on the solution of education problems in Pakistan. Besides, the experts on strategic studies held deliberations over Afghanistan and Pakistan: conflict and Extremism and on the Nuclear Pakistan: An overview of the strategic dimensions. Famous poets, literary personalities and authors writing in diverse languages, genres and traditions captivated the participants with readings and group discussions. ONLINE
were not having documents of their motorbikes. When tried to contact Ashraf Shah and Jamshed Khan,the police officials, both were out of their offices while they also did not attend the phone calls. However, a police official at I-9 Police Station while requesting anonymity said that the officials are dealing the complaints regarding the Faizabad Checkpost regularly.
Nawaz Sharif addressing members of the business community during a reception in his honour at a hotel. ONLINE
Labour Day takes young life
Youth dies as heap of sand falls on him at construction site Body of girl found in Zia Masjid area
ISLAMABAD: While the world was celebrating the International Labour Day on Wednesday, a labourer working in Islamabad lost his life while on work. Omer Khan, 16, was working on a construction site when a heap of sand fell on him. He died on the spot before any medical help could reach him. Sub-Inspector Muhammad Ashraf told “The Spokesman” that the deceased was digging land on the site in Bahria Enclave. While working, he moved to a water cooler placed in the pit when a heavy heap of sand fell on him which resulted in his death.” He said the police after being informed reached at the location and shifted the body to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, but the relatives of the deceased did not allow his post mortem. Khwaja Muhammad, cousin of the deceased, said that, “It was simply an accident so we do not want to lodge FIR against any one. Our biggest concern is shifting the dead body to our native area Mohmand Agency as soon as possible, as we fear any delay can damage the dead body.” Meanwhile, the dead body of a 22-year-old gilr was recovered by Shahzad Town Police from the area of Zia Masjid on Wednesday.
According to details, the police was inaformed about a female body that was killed, lying on a green belt between Zia Masjid and Khanna Pull area. The police reached at the location and shifted the body to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. Investigation officer of the case Rana Muhammad Ashraf, when contacted, told “The Spokesman”, “The girl aged 22 years was shot on right side of her temporal lobe from a short distance, between 2 to 3 pm at morning. The bullet pierced the skull and exited from the left side of her skull. She was wearing green color Shalwar Kamiz while
her name and residence have not been identified yet.” He said that it was not a suicide case and she was definitely murdered. “Although the police have not found any clue of her murderer yet, but the finger prints on her body will be collected to trace the culprit,” said Rana Ashraf. He further said that nobody from the relatives of the deceased girl has contacted the police yet, while the body has been shifted to PIMS where the doctors would conduct her post mortem on Tuesday. He said the photograph of the body would be displayed on all the police stations to identify her.
Man attempts suicide after killing his family ISLAMABAD: A man killed three of his family members including his wife and two daughters and attempted suicide after killing them in Sector I-10/2, on Wednesday. The Sabzi Mandi Police when contacted, informed that on Wednesday evening, native of Mohra Awan in Chakwal Afzal Khan shot his wife and two daughters namely Fatima Raza, 16, and Yusra Raza, 14, for some unknown reason, while he also committed suicide by shooting himself. A police official, requesting not to be named, said that Afzal Khan had also sent an SMS to his friend before committing suicide in which he stated that he had killed his wife and two daughters and now was going to attempt suicide. In the incident, youngest son of the deceased family Ahmad Raza remained safe as he was at his madrassah. The police recovered a pistol from the crime scene while the bodies were shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Science for their post mortem. While talking to “The Spokesman”, a neighbour of the deceased family stated that Afzal and his family moved here from Karachi 2 months ago. —HOMER BALOCH
AIOU’s exams from Thursday I SLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University will hold its final exams of metric, FA, F.Sc, diploma in education, BA, BS (CS) and BS (Micro-Biology and Chemistry) for the Semester Autumn 2012, on Thursday May 2 across the country, simultaneously. AIOU Controller of Exams Dr Hamid Khan Niazi announced this. The roll No slips, he said, have already been dispatched to all the enrolled students. Those, who have not received their slips so far, are advised to contact the nearest regional offices of the University. For duplicate slip, the students are required to bring two passport size photographs duly attested by the gazetted officer. The slips along with date sheet are also being placed on the AIOU website. Controller of Exams said that final exams of PGD, MA and M.Sc for the Semester Autumn 2012 would start from May 22. He said roll number slips and date sheets are being sent to all the enrolled students by post at their given addresses. In addition, the slips and datasheet for PGC, MA and M.Sc programmes are also been placed at website. All the students are advised to read the instructions mentioned on slips carefully before entering into examination center. ONLINE
Labourers are Pakistan’s asset, says Kakakhel ISLAM ABAD: Federal Minister for Human Resource Development Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, addressing a convention organised by the Workers Welfare Fund, said that Pakistan is the home of the most creative, dynamic and talented workers in the world. He said, on the Labor Day, that throughout the year, our workers work for the progress of the country and we should maintain our efforts to support them in moving the economy of the country forward. He also said that the generations of working people have built this country and this is the only generation who works every day even in difficult times. Mr Shah elaborated, “As workers, you should take pride on the work that you do. Your work contributes to the stewardship of Pakistani rupees
being an asset of the country and ensures accountability in the delivery of government programs and services.” Last but not the least, Mr Shah stressed that the labour has an obligation to all people, not just its members, to ensure that government is held accountable for developing legislation that protects citizens from exploitation and unsafe working conditions. In the concluding argument federal minister appealed to the labourers to join hands to make Pakistan a truly progressive, moderate and enlightened country for fulfilling the dreams of the founder of the nation–Quaid-e-Azam. Railway Federal Minister Dr Abdul Malik Qassi and KP Labour Minister Omar Farooq were also present at the convention.
Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Barrister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel and ambassador of the Netherlands Gajus Scheltema celebrate the investiture of King Willem-Alexander. ONLINE
The lady behind successful literature festivals SHANEL KHALIQ
ISLAMABAD: Amena Syed, the lady behind literature festivals in Islamabad and Karachi was brought up in an atmosphere of learning and literature, being the niece of the celebrated Urdu novelist Quratul Ain Hyder. Therefore a penchant for reading was something she developed at an early age. For her reading and books is a passion and the career path she chose further brought her in close proximity with writer authors and intellectuals. In her twenty five year long association with the Oxford University Press, Amena Syed has continued to be loyal to her foremost aim of making books accessible and widely read and
inculcating the habit of reading in as many people as possible. “I feel it is wrong to say that people are moving away from reading and books, rather I feel they are looking for opportunities”, she said. The remarkable success of the Islamabad Literature Festival in a new city such as Islamabad that lacks the historical and literary heritage that its counter parts can boast of is surely a testament to what Ms Amena feels. Highlighting the role of the Oxford University Press she said that the organization publishes books not only for schools, colleges, students but also for the common reader. When talking about the conception of the Karachi Literature Festival, she said that it was for many years she strongly felt that as a nation we can boast of such
a rich and proud literary heritage. “Unfortunately, authors and writers are not accorded the status that they deserve. I felt that we are not a nation without intellect rather intellect has been in our blood for centuries and this is why I wanted to organise an event that would not only raise the status of authors but also develop an interest in reading books.” This led her to organise the first Karachi Literature Festival in 2010 that met with tremendous success contrary to expectations. This further strengthened her spirits and led to the successful run of the second and third literature festivals. The fourth festival organised earlier this year witnessed an audience of 50,000 people with 214 authors participating in it. “The
tremendous response lead me to organise a festival in Islamabad as well, as I saw that quite a few people had travelled all the way to Karachi to attend the event.” Contrary to widespread belief regarding Islamabad’s image as a new and a characterless city, Amena feels that although the city might be new but the civilization is one of the oldest. “Taxila can boast of the oldest university in the world so this region definitely has a passion for learning,” she says. With regards to the digital age flooding the world with e books, the role of traditional book reading may have fallen into the background. However, Amena feels that this is not the case as still a large part of the population wants to own a hard copy and read it. “Although it is a matter
of personal choice but many still feel that an e book does not hold the same character that a real book does,” she adds. However in her capacity as a publisher she feels that it is their job simply to develop content and to spread it as widely as possible in whatever form. “For us as publishers it makes no difference rather e books lead to a fall in costs of storage and transportation,” she contends. Amena Syed has also received an award from the British Queen in 2005 for her services and she has also been bestowed with the French Knighthood this year. She says that she is immensely humbled and hopes that she can live up to the expectations associated with these awards.
POWER ALLEYS |
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Raja gets best bet, Ch. Nisar keeps fluctuating enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law as I solemnly declare that these are absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’t hesitate to share with us on our blog at www.thespokesman.pk
ASWJ support Anjum Aqeel hle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) has more influence in Islamabad than many may have realized. ASWJ announced on twitter their support for PML (N)’s candidate in NA 48 Islamabad, Anjum Aqeel. ASWJ, the new avatar of the now defunct Anjuman-i-Supah-i-Suhaba, announced earlier that their local election committee was in session to declare their support for local candidates. It also announced that they were approached by PPP candidate Faisal Sakhi Butt but ultimately it found Anjum Aqeel more deserving of support. This raises a few questions: Is the ASWJ decision just for Islamabad or do they have such committees deciding for every district? Does this mean that the ASWJ’s electoral understanding with the PML (N) is deeper than was being alleged? The PML (N) tried to dispel this impression by adjusting Waqas Akram, whose father contests elections in Jhang. But the party is yet to disown the ASWJ allegiance in Islamabad. Also, how many votes does this support bring in? Islamabad is home to hundreds of madrassas. Only Jamia Faridia, which was re-opened by Senator Rehman Malik, hosts over 6000 students. Many of them have registered themselves here. Many say this could mean 10000 votes in Islamabad, which could be a make-or-break factor. This should ring alarm bells somewhere we think.
Faizan Lakhani @faizanlakhani35m
How old our politicians are? I Khan 60, N Sharif 63, Zardari 57, Asfandyar Wali 64, Altaf Hussain 59, Munawar Hassan 69, Fazlur Rehman 59.
Umar Cheema @UmarCheema126m
A friend asked: Every party has an ideology/ principle stand on issues (regardless implementation). Does #PMLN has too?
#SSP #LEJ have withdrawn their candidate in favour of #PMLN candidate Anjum Aqeel Khan in NA-48
Umar Cheema @UmarCheema14m
Why only elite produces top leadership of Pakistan?
Saroor Ijaz @SaroorIjaz5m
Election race hangs in balance. One needs to rig it a little to restore the imbalance.
Rahat Shinwari @RahatShinwari41m
female activists of JI at landikotal NA-45 Khyber Agency are mobilizing the tribal women about the importance of vote/poll
The top dogs of bookies MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)
has gained 22 points and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has lost 12 as recent public meetings in Punjab and Balochistan have increased PTI’s ratings in books and more and more people have started betting for a PTI victory in the May 11 elections, bookies said on Wednesday. "On April 29, PML-N was leading the betting race by 30 points when bookies were offering 40 paisas for a bet on PML-N and 70 for the PTI. But after Imran Khan's rallies in Mianwali and Balochistan during the last two days, the situation has changed and now PTI is leading the bets by four points," said a bookie managing election bets from all over the world. Sitting at his workplace in the congested Saddar area of Rawalpindi, he said PTI was now getting 48 paisas and PML-N 52 paisas by Wednesday evening. The surge in PTI’s ranking was witnessed after six back-to-back public meetings by Imran Khan in his hometown Mianwali on Tuesday and three major gatherings in Loralai, Sibi and Jacobabad on Wednesday. He said that according to latest estimates, which bookies have gathered from across the country, PTI was leading on seven seats of Lahore while PML-N has an edge on two and PPP on one. In Lahore, PPP's Bushra Aitezaz is the only
candidate from her party who is leading the competition in books. In Rawalpindi, Imran Khan is leading the race with 48 paisas against Hanif Abbasi's 52 paisas while Sheikh Rashid is leading with 42 paisas against Shakil Awan's 56. In NA 52 Rawalpindi, Chaudhary Nisar has
improved his position against Raja Basharat of PML-Q and got a better rate of 60-90 paisas from 1.10 paisas which he was getting a week before. Raja Basharat is constant with 48 paisas. Former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is leading the race in Gujar Khan with a rate of
28 paisas against Raja Javed Ikhlas's 1.12 rupees. PPP's Manzoor Wattoo and Moazam Wattoo are being dubbed as winners in Okara while Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan is facing defeat against Khawaja Asif of PML-N in one of the constituencies of Sialkot. She is leading in her home constituency of Sialkot and is expected to win that seat. In NA 48 Islamabad, Anjum Aqeel, Javed Hashmi and Mian Aslam are now neck to neck as their rates are even. In previous week, Faisal Sakhi Butt was leading with 45 paisas, Mian Aslam had 48 and Anjum Aqeel 52. In NA-49, Mustafa Nawaz has improved his ratings and is getting 32 paisas while Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhary has 35. PTI is leading in the whole KPK province and on three seats of Attock. ANP is being rated second and Fazlur Rehman's JUI third in KPK. In Sindh, PPP is leading on majority of seats including Sanghar, Nawab Shah, Larkana, Noshero Feroz, Hala and Badin. Naveed Qamar has also a lead on his opponents while Shirazis are expected to win seats in Thatha. The National Peoples’ Party has better ratings in Tando Jam and Tando Muahmmad Khan, where Junejos are ahead of the other candidates. In Umerkot, PTI's Shah Mehmood Qureshi is facing tough fight from Ghulam Mustafa Shah and his ratings are falling. The bookies estimate that nationalist parties will win majority of Balochistan seats.
Bahria administration facing double trouble SALMAN ABBAS
seems that steps taken by the administration of Bahria Enclave for making their society a successful venture may come under tough scrutiny in the coming days as they are facing two separate probes regarding the project. First the judicial commission formed by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to probe CDA irregularities investigated the issue related to construction of double road leading towards Bahria Enclave and made some recommendations in this regard which will be taken up by the court on May 3rd. Secondly the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Division also took notice of the considerable increase in the rates of plots in Bahria Enclave during a short span of time and sought a reply from the Bahria management in this regard. It shows the confidence of Bahria Town administration about changing their illegal moves into legal acts without too much fuss was that the administration constructed a double road to ensure easy access to Bahria Enclave without the approval of CDA and allegedly by encroaching upon the CDA land. Interestingly, after the lapse of several of months they easily succeeded in getting the approval for the said road This also showed the negligence of CDA officials who remained silent over the construction of road for a
period of one year. The report said that Bahria Town constructed a double road on CDA land without obtaining permission of the civic body in 2011. The authority accorded approval later in 2012. CDA Deputy Director Enforcement Shafi Muhammad Marwat had submitted before the commission that the management of Bahria
Enclave had taken 300 Kanals of CDA land for the construction of a road and 900 Kanals for construction of their offices. He said that, with regards to the problem of double road leading towards Bahria Enclave, different wings of CDA have been corresponding with each other and have been shifting the burden on to each other. He said that no one could
dare to direct the enforcement wing to take over possession of the encroached area. The commission, in its report, recommended that joint demarcation should be carried out of the place in presence of Bahria Town, ICT administration and CDA. Sources in the CDA told The Spokesman that the demarcation
may not go in favor of Bahria Town and if it comes true, they will have to face a major blow in the form of leaving the land or paying high compensation to the affectees. They said that the demarcation of the land could not be carried out earlier as an individual of Kurri village filed a civil suit against the CDA after which the court ordered to maintain status quo of the land. It is believed that the Bahria administration has asked someone to file the case as the petitioner has not cited Bahria Town as a respondent in the case. The commission found that “from the oral and documentary evidence so far collected, it is apparent on the face of it that access to Bahria Enclave was intervened by Kuri Village, a property belonging to the CDA.” The commission recommended disciplinary action against the officials of CDA who remained inactive during construction of the road up till the time it was accorded approval. On the other hand, in its last meeting, the Senate standing committee sought a reply from the Bahria Enclave administration as to why they made a considerable increase in the prices of plots. At the time of its launch, Bahria Enclave offered a plot of one Kanal for Rs6 million whereas the rate has now been increased to 8.5 million which compelled the committee to take notice of the situation. The committee will also take up the matter in its next meeting.
The tough battles of KPK - Part I MOHAMMED RIZWAN
Like every election in the past, the 2013 edition also promises some tough and close battles involving the leading names of Pakistan politics. Whoever wins these constituencies spread across the country will have to be baptized by fire and an exercise of a pre-poll prediction on these constituencies runs the risk of falling flat on its face. These are close battles expected to go to the wire but the element of a dark horse, however, is always present as it has become the inherent property of current elections. These analyses are based on the assumption that the election trends remain the same as they were in 2008 or at least as they look at the time of writing. Any last-moment swing or a change of fortunes will of course have to be taken into account. Most of the constituencies that are synthesized depict traditional battles among arch rivals. However, people (voters) have this habit of turning everything on its head on the election day, leaving the analysts red in the face. In the current elections, unlike all elections in the recent past, the third-force factor is becoming increasingly difficult to gauge. The factor of some 30 million new votes and the phenomenon of youth bulge and on top of all this the
turnout on the election day, all can change the entire complexion of this electoral exercise.
NA 1 (Peshawar I) Ghulam Ahmed Bilour (ANP) vs Imran Khan (PTI)): This urban Peshawar city constituency is considered the fort of the Bilours and home to Awami National Party. In 2008, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour had won this constituency for fourth time by bagging 44000 votes compared to Ayub Shah of PPP who secured 37000 votes. However, this time round it has all changed as far as PPP is concerned. Zulfiqar Afghani of the PPP is considered a weak candidate as PTI chief Imran Khan has made his entry against the veteran Ghulam Bilour. Bilour is at the fag end of his political career and has lost a lot of ground since his 2008 victory. In 2002, the constituency was won by MMA while ANP came in second. In 1990, Benazir Bhutto contested from the constituency and lost against the old man (Ghulam Bilour). This time round, so far the battle is very close as PTI’s Razakars have invested a lot of time and energy and tried to woo disgruntled PPP voters as well. The constituency at the moment is dead heat as both Bilour and Imran are tied for a photo-finish.
NA 3 (Peshawar III) Noor Alam Khan (PPP) vs Iqbal Zafar Jhagra (PML-N): This is another tough one with Pakistan’s richest parliamentarian Noor Alam Khan pitted against a daunting line-up with JUI-F ‘sGhulam Ali, PML-N’s Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and ANP’s Inamullah Khan all in the fray. However, the incumbent has an edge over his rivals as people in the area generally approve of their representative. In 2008, Noor Alam Khan had bagged some 27000 votes compared to runner-up Hasham Babar of ANP. Now PTI’s
Sajid Nawaz has also jumped into the battle and has made this contest interesting. However, the general consensus for the constituency is that Noor Alam Khan will retain his seat.
NA 8 (Charsadda II) Aftab Sherpao Vs Wasifullah Khan (PPP): This is another Charsadda constituency from where a national icon is contesting against all major political parties. This is traditionally a Sherpao area from where the brother of Aftab Sherpao, Hyat Sherpao, also ran on a PPP ticket. But when Sherpao parted ways with the PPP, the domain slipped out of PPP’s grasp. In 2008 too, Aftab Sherpao won this constituency by a margin of 18,000 votes beating Anwar Habib of MMA. Also in the 2002 elections, Sherpao won this seat easily by beating an ANP candidate. At the moment Samar Shah of JUI, Jehanzeb Khan of PTI, Wasifullah Khan from PPP and Sajjad Anwer from PML-N are challenging the old pro but all indications are that Sherpao would comfortably retain his seat.
NA 7 (Charsadda I) Asfandyar Wali Vs Fazal Muhammad:
Charsadda is home to Bacha Khan, Wali Khan, Nasim Wali Khan and now Asfandyar Wali. The constituency is as solid as it gets for the ANP leader. He is up against PPP’s Ghanimullah, PML-N’s Kaleem Durrani and PTI’s Fazal Muhammad. In 2008 the ANP head had won the constituency by a very comfortable margin, beating Naseer Muhammad Khan of PPP by 40,000 votes. However in 2002 general elections Asfandyar Wali had lost to MMA candidate Maulana Muhammad Gohar from this constituency. This time there are not many surprises in store as the ANP chief is expected to win with ease.
NA 9 (Mardan I) Amir Haider Hoti (ANP) VS Shazia Auregzeb (PPP): This is Mardan city constituency where apart from mainstream political parties like PPP and PML-N, religious parties like JI and JUI-F have a strong vote bank. It was won by Khan Muhammad Hoti of ANP in 2008 elections. But considering it an urban constituency, the former KPK chief minister Amir Haider Hoti has decided to contest from this constituency. PPP has fielded a strong candidate in Shazia Aurangzeb from here while PTI has awarded ticket to Nasir Khan and PML-N has given ticket to Muhammad Khan Hoti. In 2002 the seat went to MMA with Abbas Sarfraz Khan being runner-up as an independent candidate. Currently, Amir Haider Khan Hoti is going strong as the religious vote is not united and PPP’s Shazia’s campaign is in disarray.
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
President Zardari made Pakistanis beggars, says Shahbaz Street crime escalates in Royal Artillery Bazaar RAWALPINDI: The street crimes have escalated in R A Bazaar causing many concerns amongst the residents, while the police are acting like a silent spectator. The inhabitants complained that muggers were roaming freely in the area and snatching valuables from the residents, especially in Tanch Bhatta, Peoples Colony and Chungi No 22. The residents have demanded of Rawalpindi CPO and other concerning authorities to take strict action against the rising incidents and also the negligent attitude of the police. ONLINE
Sajada Nasheen Sheikh Fazil Khawaja Noor Muhammad Sahu briefs Shahbaz Sharif on party position in his area
LAHORE: PML-N leader and former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday alleged that President Asif Ali Zardari has pushed the country for begging and dependency on foreign aid. Addressing a public meeting in Jalo More‚ he said, “We have carried out huge development projects, including Metro Bus‚ in the Punjab during the last 5 years.” He also criticised PTI Chairman Imran Khan for campaigning for PPP in Punjab. Meanwhile, Khawaja Noor Muhammad
general election. Khawaja Noor Muhammad was earlier made an advisor to the former Punjab chief minister. Shahbaz told Khawaja Noor Muhammad Sahu that the opposition parties were afraid of the increasing popularity of the PML-N. He said PML-N would achieve great success in the general election. Khawaja Noor Muhammad Sahu expressed his confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Shairf. He said, “The PML-N is the only party which can liberate the country from its problems.” AGENCIES
He was accompanied by, apart from others, Colonel (retd) Qutab Sahu. Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz told Khawaja Noor Muhammad Sahu that a big post-elections role in the Punjab power corridors was awaiting him. The Khawaja thanked the Sharifs for their good gestures, adding that he and his disciples would not ditch the PML-N at any cost. The Sajada Nasheen told Shahbaz that all PML-N candidates in the above-mentioned constituencies would register a landslide victory in the upcoming
Sahu, the Sajada Nasheen of Sheikh Fazil Sharif, Burewala, on Wednesday called on Shahbaz Sharif at the latter’s Raiwind residence and briefed the former Punjab chief minister on the party’s position in his area. Khawaja Noor Muhammad joined the PML-N on November 22, 2012, pledging his personal and that of his disciples’ support to Nawaz Shaif ’s party. His disciples, it may be noted, are spread across 18 National Assembly and 20 provincial assembly constituencies.
Labour Day commemorated in Pakistan
CCTV to be installed at 93 polling stations RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Home Department has decided to install close circuit cameras at 93 sensitive polling stations in Rawalpindi district. The department has released special grant of Rs 1.9 million in this regard to the district government. The district government will hire CCTV cameras for one day to install them at sensitive polling stations. The sensitive polling stations are located in Rawalpindi, Taxila, Murree, Kahuta, Kotli Sattian, Gujjar Khan, Kotli Satian and Kallar Syedan. Special grant amounting to Rs 2.3 million was sought from the department and Rs 1.9 million has now been provided. ONLINE
CBR drops water bomb on citizens RAWALPINDI: The Cantonment Board Rawalpindi has increased water charges which sparked resentment among the citizens. The CBR has issued notification with regard to upward revised water charges, passing on the drastic impact to the consumers. Water bill per month has been increased from Rs 160 to Rs 200 in respect of 5 marlas houses, from Rs 240 to Rs 300 in respect of 7 marlar houses, from Rs 300 to Rs 400 for 10 marlas houses, from Rs 400 to Rs 500 in respect of 15 marla houses, from Rs 500 to Rs 650 in respect of one kanal houses and from Rs 650 to Rs 750 in respect of houses with area of more than one kanal. The water charges for commercial use have also been enhanced. Rate has been raised from Rs 650 per month to Rs 1000 for bakeries and from Rs 25005500 to Rs 3000-7000 for service stations. The residents of areas concerned have rejected the raise terming it unilateral and anti people. The board has failed to supply clean drinking water to us and it has now dropped water bomb on us by jacking up water charges, said a group of residents. ONLINE
Labourers backbone of country’s economy ISLAMABAD: PML-F Chief organiser Kanwar Qutabuddin and party president Malik Hammad said on Wednesday that labourers were backbone of the country’s economy and they should be fully facilitated at governmental level. The PML-F leaders were addressing a rally taken out by labourers. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Tankers passing through Benazir Road during a rally organised by Oil Tankers Association on Labour Day. ONLINE
Pakistani drama’s battle with foreign content continues
With prime time hours being awarded to Turkish soaps, local entertainment industry feels betrayed
ISLAMABAD. The influx of foreign content on local television channels continues to be a source of distress for the local entertainment industry. With prime time hours being awarded to Turkish soaps, the Pakistani entertainment industry feels betrayed and distraught and at the same time their battle for ratings continues. Whether this is because of absence of good content in local productions or whether it is simply a ploy of the local media buying houses, audiences and producers still need to decide. Renowned television actress Laila Zuberi while speaking at a session on “Pakistani Dramas and what the audiences want to watch” at the first Islamabad Literature Festival said that foreign content being aired on prime time hours is leading to a loss of revenue as well since tax is not paid on purchase. “These dramas are cheaper in cost as compared to local productions since they have already been aired,”
she said. She also said that professionalism has been replaced by commercialism which has lead the drama industry into decline. Celebrated poet and dramatist Amjad Islam Amjad highlighted the historical evolution of television plays in the local context. He said that the television itself came to Pakistan in 1964 which was an apt time since the culture of debate and discourse was gaining immense strength. While talking about the state owned channel he said that “I have my differences with PTV but I will credit its drama with having represented each and every segment of society and hence every viewer could identify themselves.” However, the influx of privately owned television channels has created a new value system he observed. Producers want to recover their investment as soon as possible and this has lead to the decline in content. “What dramas today reflect is only the reality of a small proportion of society,” he said when criticizing the overly dramatic plots depicting oppression
Presiding officers hesitant to serve Earthquake felt across the country KARACHI: As the country enters final round of general election, the lists of presiding officers, presiding assistants from central Karachi have been reshuffled, while many are hesitant to take their posts. The remaining lists of Karachi have still not been completed, while the staff of Election Commission of Pakistan has been pressurised to utmost by the influential political parties. According to the ECP,
Sindh is to have 4,213 polling stations with 46,429 polling booths. There are five NA constituencies in central district zone of Karachi, while PA constituencies are 10, which are being contested by various political parties. The ECP sources announced that there are 1,126 polling stations in central district zone of Karachi, having 3,888 polling booths. ONLINE
Ex-coalition partners cry foul
HYDERABAD: An MQM supporter is holding a picture of Altaf Hussain during a public meeting on Wednesday. ONLINE
KARAC HI: Former ruling coalition partners in Sindh have alleged that the world powers follow their own agenda of fighting against terrorism. Addressing a joint press conference at Mardan House on Wednesday, ANP, PPP and MQM leaders said the world powers should not turn them into scapegoats for their own interests. Speaking on this occasion, former minister Rehman Malik said Pakistan was being turned into Afghanistan by escalating violence. He warned that grave consequences would be there if a pro-Taliban prime minister installed in the country. MQM leader Farooq Sattar alleged that the law enforcement agencies were unable to contain the wave of terrorism. ONLINE
towards women in the country. He also said that decision making needs to be taken away from the media buying houses if the Pakistani drama wants to experience resurgence. The fight for ratings has also plagued television programs immensely. Seema Tahir, one of the founders of TV One, says that ratings are not at all a reflection of popularity. “Ratings are simply a facilitation mechanism for media buying houses when deciding which productions to buy,” she contends. Revealing statistics she said that there are approximately 615 rating meters in place and those too are located in the ten major cities, hence these ratings themselves are only a limited urban phenomenon. Agha Nasir, speaking on the occasion recounted what is often called the “golden era” of the Pakistani drama. He said that during the time that PTV had a monopoly, the industry experienced disadvantages as well as certain advantages.
I SLAM ABAD: Like other parts of the globe, the International Labour Day was observed across the country here on Wednesday to renew pledge for protecting rights of labourers. All government and private organisations, educational institutions and markets remained closed to observe Labour Day. Different political and labour organisations‚ particularly the labour wings of political parties and professional bodies organised programmes to highlight the significance of the day and rights of the workers. The seminars and rallies were held in different cities to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives in Chicago in 1886 for the rights of the labourers. The president and the prime minister in their messages have pledged to uphold the rights of the working class. The International Labour Day was observed across all over the country on May 1st, as state owned and private institutions remained closed. The International Workers Day is observed in almost 80 countries across the globe. The day traces its origins to the Haymarket Affair that took place in Chicago in 1886. A peaceful protest was going on by a workers group for eight hour long working day, when an unknown person threw a bomb. The police fired at the protestors in retaliation which resulted in chaos and death of four civilians and seven police officers. This event happened in the post Civil war scenario when following the worldwide recession industrial production began to grow, this lead working hours particularly in Chicago ranging from nine to fourteen hours. In 1884, a convention held by the Federation of Organised Trades and Labour Unions unanimously decided that May 1st, would be the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. On Saturday, May 1st, rallies were held throughout the United States and soon the International Labours Day began to be observed globally. Representatives of workers unions continue to fight for workers rights across Pakistan as well as the rest of the world. Better working conditions, minimum wage legislation and better working hours continue to be some of the major demands being advocated for.
PTI to uproot corrupt system based on injustice: Hashmi
ISLAM ABAD: The Metrological Department said on Wednesday that earthquake tremors were felt in upper parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir. According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 5.7 on the Richter scale with its epicenter Indian held Kashmir. The tremors lasted for 15 second and were felt in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, other areas of Azad J and K, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Faislabad, Peshawar, Parachinar, Mohmand Agency, Shabqadar, Swat, Chiniot, Lahore and other cities of upper Punjab. Following the tremors, the citizens rushed to open spaces fearing for their safety. No loss of life has been reported. Indian cities including New Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, Amartasar, Patyala, Chandigarh and other cities in northern part were also jolted with quake. Tremors were also felt in eastern Afghanistan and southern China. These were tremors felt third time within a month as on April 16, a 7.8 earthquake was also felt across Iran and Pakistan. At least 40 people were killed in Mashakhel in Balochistan, near the Pak-Iran border. On April 24, earthquake tremors were felt across Pakistan including in Parachinar, Mohmad Agency, Shabqadar, Swat, Peshawar, Islamabad, Chiniot and Lahore. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf President and candidate for NA-48 Makhdoom Javed Hashmi on Wednesday vowed that after winning the forthcoming elections their party would uproot the corrupt and outdated system based on injustice and inequality. Speaking at various public meetings in the federal capital, he said that his party would install mass transport system to better link twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He said that with massive public support and the spirited and zealous youth, the nation would get rid of the corrupt political parties by voting PTI to power on May 11. Flanked by
PTI central leaders Dr. Shahzad Waseem, Ali Awan, Raja Khurram Nawaz and Malik Sajid, the PTI President vowed that youth were the real force and strength of the party and whose role was very critical in the coming elections to root out the decades-old corrupt political culture in order to make a ‘Naya Pakistan’. “The PTI is the only political force that gave over 35% ticket to youth in the coming elections, which is testimony of the fact that the party wants to bring a fresh, vibrant and energetic leadership who could play their role to guide the country towards progress and prosperity,” he maintained. He held out assurance to the charged crowd that the PTI government would not only ensure provision of clean drinking water for the people of the twin cities, but would also ensure provision of speedy and cheap justice across the country. He asked youth to visit door to door to keep the people cognizant of the PTI’s message for a real change in the country. Talking about rights and issues of tenants and owners of private property, Hashmi assured that the PTI after coming into power would fight for their rights and would resolve their issues on war-footings. ONLINE
Not premiership but country: Nawaz ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday reiterated that the premiership was not his destination; rather he wants to drag the country out of all challenges and crisis. Addressing business community of twin cities here, he said that traders, industrialists and businessmen are the backbone of country’s economics. He said when his party would come in power; all financial policies would be planned by consultation with business community. He said that Pakistan needs leadership to bring
out the country from the problems facing by the country today, adding that the May 11 would be the day of his victory. He said that Parvez Musharraf is responsible for electricity crisis but Asif Ali Zardari also did nothing for the solution of the problem. Nawaz said that electricity is not available for 20 hours in the area, adding that the industry has been closed. He said that the president has done nothing to end electricity crisis during past five years, adding that the rulers have filled their pockets through corruption. He said that there was no loadshedding,
unemployment, unrest in Karachi and Balochistan and there were no terrorist incidents during the PML-N governments. He said that the gas and electricity was available for the masses, adding that today Pakistan is behind from all countries in progress. He said that the condition of country has been changed, adding that the PML-N would take the country again on the position where it had left in 1999. He said that the masses should consider who has served the masses and established dams and motorways during the past tenures. ONLINE
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Imran urges youth to persuade parents PTI chairman asks Balochs to vote for ideology, not on ethnic basis
ABBOT TA BAD: Children playing on the demolished compoun d of A l-Qaeda chief O sama bin Laden on the eve of his 2nd death anniversary. –ONLINE
JI says no one can sabotage polls
PML–N will rebuild Pakistan: Nawaz
LAHORE/MULTAN : Jamaat-i-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch has said that the gang of four that had been ruling the country for the last five years had been trying hard to sabotage the elections in order to escape a clear defeat due to their misdeeds during their tenure in the government but they won’t be succeeded. Addressing corner meetings in NA 126 in Lahore, he said that the Jamaat-i-Islami won’t permit any one to deny the public right of vote freely and would protect the democracy, the constitution and the parliamentary form of government with full force. Baloch said that religious forces in the country would never allow Pakistan to become a secular state. The JI leader said the upcoming election would determine whether Pakistan was to become an abode of secularism and liberalism or the fortress of Islam based on the principles laid down in the Quran and the Sunnah. He said the curse of corruption had ruined the country’s economy and made it dependent on the IMF and the World Bank. He said that the JI would pull the country out of the clutches of these institutions and put it on the path of self reliance. Addressing a meeting in Multan‚ the JI secretary general said that corrupt elements had exploited the rights of poor. He criticised other political parties for raising hollow slogans for bringing about so-called change in the country. He said these political parties were misleading the people through advertisements. –ONLINE
SARGODHA: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N President (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan has no respect in the world despite being an atomic power. “We will rebuild Pakistan with the help of youth,” he said on Wednesday. Addressing a public meeting here, he said that Pakistan will again be on track of progress. “We will give soft loans to youth so that they can earn their living in a dignified way,” he said, adding that the PML-N strongly condemns terrorist attacks on political parties. “Our government will solve problem of gas and electricity shortage on priority,” he said. “We will lay a network of motorways in country if voted to power,” he said. Nawaz said that the PML-N would bring real change with the support of the youth. He said that the motorway‚ Chashma plant and distribution of land among the
landless farmers were some of his major achievements. Nawaz said they would give loans on soft terms to skilled and educated youth. He said maximum job opportunities would be created for the youth after winning the elections. He pledged that problem of loadshedding would be resolved forever after coming into power. He said that the youth was an asset of Pakistan and for PML-N. He said that the best communication infrastructure would be built if voted to power. In 1991, Pakistan was progressing fast under his government but a military dictator overthrew the elected government and reversed the wheel of progress, the PML-N leader said. “If our government had been allowed to continue Pakistan would have been a different country by now,” he said. He also said that he was appealing for votes because he wanted to bring Pakistan out of the crises it is facing. –ONLINE
3 more die in unabated violence in Karachi
25 detained in Rangers-police operation
Seminary student beaten to death FAISALABAD: Sajjad Ahmed, a 12-year-old seminary student, was beaten to death for his failure to memorize lesson here, a private television channel reported on Wednesday. As per the TV report, the accused seminary teacher, identified as Qari Farooq, escaped by taking the dead student with him. An FIR was filed against the suspect by the seminary administration. The incident took place inside a local seminary located at the Canal Road. Sajjad Ahmed was brutally beaten with a stick, leaving him died on the spot. Qari Farooq called an ambulance, took the body and escaped along with several other students. Both the accused and the victim belonged to Bahawalpur. –ONLINE
Imran’s sisters visit shrine, pray for PTI LAHORE: Sisters and other family members of Imran Khan visited the shrine of Ruqayah bin Ali commonly known as Bibi Pak Daman at Garhi Shahu and prayed for the success of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the election. The sisters and the family also launched a door-to-door campaign in NA122 for the PTI chairman. –ONLINE
Talpur says PPP to emerge victorious SHAHDAD KOT: Pakistan People’s Party central leader Faryal Talpur has said that PPP candidates would emerge victorious in all four provinces after the general election. “Our party will constitute its government at centre and in Sindh as well,” she said while addressing a corner meeting here. She said that the outgoing PPP government not only work tirelessly to address problems of the masses but set records for development projects. Talpur asked supporters to start door-todoor work so that more and more people may cast their votes on May 11. On the occasion, former National Assembly member Nawabzada Amir Magsi said that PPP’s opponents were in a state of panic due to PPP’s rising popularity among the masses. He said that his party believes to serve the masses and the people should avoid those who just make hollow promises. It is pertinent to mention that in view of upsurge terror attacks, Faryal Talpur held this corner meeting under tight security. –ONLINE
JACOBABAD/SIBI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday urged people to vote not on the basis of personality‚ sectarian or ethnic basis but for the ideology and the youth must convince their parents to vote for a change. Addressing public gatherings in Jacobabad and Sibi, the PTI chairman said that this was the time of the change of the system; therefore‚ masses must come out for this change. He asked the youth to bring 10 persons on their bike on polling day. He said that he has come to Balochistan to hunt sardars and jagirdars. He said that his party would bring out the people of Sindh from slavery of feudal lords and cruel politicians. Lashing out on some politicians, he said that days of cruel politicians were numbered and the PTI would exterminate them forever from the political scene. He said that the PTI would introduce and promote simple culture in the country. Imran said that the PTI would focus on the resolution of the problems being faced by different provinces and particular attention would be paid to resolve the problems of the Baloch people. He said utmost efforts were being made to bring honest people to represent the masses in the parliament. “We will introduce new local bodies system and pay special attention for the uplift of the education sector,” he said. “We would not allocate development funds to any member of the national or provincial assemblies but problems would be resolved through local bodies,” he said. He said that some professional politicians have plundered people of Balochistan by depriving them of their rights. He said that if the people of Balochistan want to change their fate then they would have to struggle. He also said that the PTI would transform the country into a welfare state where
justice would be dispensed without any discrimination. In a statement, issues from the central office in Islamabad, Imran Khan said that the story regarding a meeting between a lady named Nadia and Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya community, in the United Kingdom, to ask for votes on behalf of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was absolutely baseless. He said that the subsequent video was a fake and based on total lies as it has nothing to do either with him or his party. “PTI and myself have never asked her to undertake any such task and neither is Nadia an elected representative of PTI’s UK chapter. Neither I nor PTI have ever asked anybody to especially ask for Qadiani votes for the PTI,” he said. He also said that this would be against the Representation of the People Act, 1976 and instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Imran said that he had an absolute belief in the finality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). “Anyone claiming prophethood after him is a liar. This belief of mine is the same as that of the entire Muslim Ummah,” he said. “PTI totally subscribes to the article in the constitution on Qadianis. It is not part of the PTI agenda to seek constitutional amendment of the said article,” he said. Imran appealed to the people not to fall prey to the malicious campaign being put out by some Ulema against him and his party in this regard. “This is a political conspiracy against me as a person and PTI as a party,” he said. The PTI chairman pointed out that those Ulema who label him ‘Kafir’ and tell people that voting for PTI was ‘Haram’ in their fatwas would have been better advised to follow the rules relating to giving of fatwas and ascertained his belief before issuing the same. –ONLINE
Rs 10m for welfare of martyrs’ families MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed has announced Rs 10 million for the welfare of the families of army personals who laid their lives to guard the ideological and geographical frontiers of the country. Addressing a ceremony held in the honour of the martyrs of Gyari sector and others, he paid tribute to the martyrs of the Pakistan Army, and said that it never let Kashmiris undergo the sense of seclusion in their struggle against Indian oppression. He said the people of the state always stood by the brave soldiers of the Pakistan Army. The prime minister demanded of the super powers of the world to play their role to give Kashmiris their internationally-recognised right to self-determination without which no durable peace in the region could be ensured. The sacrifices of the martyrs would bear fruits: India can never succeed continuing its occupation and suppress the voice of the people by using force with the
presence of troops, he added. Condemning the judicial assassination of Muhammad Afzal Guru, he observed that India hanged Guru to please its people but Kashmir’s freedom movement gained a very significant momentum after that act. “India didn’t only hanged Guru but hanged its constitution, law, socalled secularism, humanity and the peace of the region,” he said, adding that such an act may result in any nuclear disaster in the region. “I request the peace loving nations to ensure the security of the region,” he observed. Murree GOC Major General Najam-ul-Hasan also addressed the ceremony and thanked the prime minister for showing solidarity with the families of the martyrs as well as for the financial assistance. He maintained that nation’s freedom was due to soldiers’ sacrifices. The prime minister and the GOC later wreathed the monument of martyrs and paid rich homage to their sacrifices. –ONLINE
‘90 percent of FATA cleared’ KARACHI: Despite Rangers and police operation in Karachi, violence continued in the metropolis, claiming three lives on Wednesday. Police said a tortured body was found from Gulshan-e-Sikandar in Kemari Town and another from Phool Chowk in Kharadar area this morning. The deceased were not identified. Rescue sources said a man was gunned down in Baldia Town No 7 area. In a joint operation near Bilawal Chorangi Clifton, the police and rangers detained 25 accused and recovered huge cache of arms from their custody. The police said some wanted accused, belong to a political
party, were also arrested. They included Guddu Bihari and others. SSP South Nasir Aftab said operation was launched against miscreants and 25 accused were arrested and arms were recovered. Protest against land grabbers turned violent after residents of Old Sabzi Mandi area, several of them women, took to streets against illegal constructions. The protesters set ablaze six shops and a vehicle following the clash between two rival groups in old Sabzi Mandi area. Police sources said that the scuffle was triggered by a land dispute between land mafia here in Askari Park. –ONLINE
PESHAWAR: Corps Commander Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani has said that the security forces have cleared 90 per cent area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from the miscreants and militants. “We would not let miscreants spread the vicious circle of terror in the country,” he said this while addressing ‘Martyrs Day’ ceremony here on Wednesday. “We will go to all lengths to curb the menace of terrorism,” he said. Total 35000 personnel of army, police and Frontier Constabulary have
sacrificed their lives for the sake of country against war on terror. Rabbani said that everyone was in a state of frustration but army was committed to restore the writ of state. He further said that those people who spread terrorism in the country would be dealt with iron fist. SEARCH OPERATION: City police have arrested two suspected terrorists during a search operation in Armarr area. Two bombs were also recovered during the operation which was believed to be used for terror attacks. –ONLINE
Roadside bomb hits caravan of an independent candidate DERA MURAD JAMALI: Meer Allah Dena Sadhani, an independent candidate, escaped narrowly when his caravan hit by a roadside explosive material here on Wednesday. A massive blast exploded when the caravan was crossing a bridge but no human loss was reported. According to local media, a remote controlled bomb, planted in a car, was used in the incident. The area was cordoned off by the security
forces and the injured transferred to the nearby hospital. Meer Allah Dena Sadhani is an independent candidate from PB-29 constituency. As general elections creep close, militants boosted their attacks on political leaders and workers in three provinces where dozens of peoples including election candidates have been killed in targeted attacks. –ONLINE
LAHORE: Devotees walk toward the shrine of Sayeen Baba during his annual Urs in Shahdara. –ONLINE
Labour Day – No light at the end of the tunnel for labourers Despite tall claims, living standards of labourers are yet to improve ABDUR RAZZAQ
PESHAWAR: Almost 45-year-old Hanif Gul, a labourer hailing from Peshawar, is doing odd jobs in various parts of the provincial capital and is unaware of the World Labour Day as he says the day is observed across the country for those who work in wellfurnished offices to enjoy holiday on May 1. “It is holiday for government employees every year,” he told The Spokesman while explaining the May Day. For many like Hanif Gul, the
World Labour Day has no significance. When asked, whether he has attended any May Day ceremony, he said: “I have to work every day because I am the sole breadwinner of my family. If I participate in such events on this day, I will differently borrow money to buy food for my family,” he says as he wipes off his sweat. Working at the Rescue 1122 office being constructed in the provincial capital, Gul said that labourers in the city lacked a true leader who can solve their problems, adding that the government only increased salaries of
those who were enjoying their life in well-furnished offices while condition of those working in the open during hot summers and chilly winters remains the same. “If I do this work, I will get daily wages otherwise the contractor won’t give me wages for the day, while the government servants enjoy holiday on May 1 and take their wages (salary) as well,” he added. Zafirullah, resident of Shakarpura, who was busy in construction work on a government building on daily wages, said he had been doing odd jobs for the last 35
years, adding that his daily wage was Rs350 per day. He said the wage was less and it could not even meet his daily expenses because of price hike. He added that he spent some of his daily earnings in travelling and food as the contractor did not provide them food while he tries to save a little amount for his family. He said that he did not even know what Yaum-e-Mazdoor was, saying that no one tried to raise their voice and fight for their rights. “Today I observed near the Peshawar Press Club that some government
servants gathered and staged a protest for their rights while no-one said a single word for those who do odd jobs like me. If the government servants observe the day and raise voice for their rights, they get salary on regular basis while if a labourer working in a factory tries to raise voice for his rights, he certainly loses his job,” he lamented. In Pakistan, there was no job security in private sector while the government institutions had provided full job securities to their employees, he said. He also demanded of the government to give rights to the labourers in the
private sector as well because they were also citizens of this country. Pakistan Workers Federation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa General Secretary Gohar Taaj said the laws promulgated for labourers’ rights were not implemented properly to date and exploitation of the labourers still continues. He said the situation now was worse as compared to 1886 as no one follows the laws made for the labourers and there were no safety and health facilities for them. He demanded of the government to take measures for the rights of this underprivileged class.
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498 www.thespokesman.pk email@example.com
Our war, not our war Addressing the event to mark the Yaum-e-Shuhada attended by families of martyrs, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani criticised those who contend that the war against terrorism is not Pakistan’s war. He called for greater political consensus and a clear policy to tackle extremism and terrorism, because the previous law makers in parliamentary resolutions had emphasised on dialogue with the militants. His assurance that the elections would be held on May 11 was reassuring. He also made it clear that the war the army was fighting was Pakistan’s war and that the antidemocratic forces would never be acceptable. His critical comments about certain quarters debating the causes and origin of this war are somewhat misplaced though. It is true that religious parties and some political parties, for their petty political gains, oppose military action against the terrorists and try to confuse the issue with their polemics. But there are conscientious citizens who genuinely believe that unless we identify the causes for our failures, it is not possible to take correct decisions to avert a disaster in future. No doubt Iskandar Mirza and General Ayub Khan were responsible for derailing democracy. They were also instrumental in intertwining Pakistan in defence pacts with the US and the West. It was once again military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq who made Pakistan the frontline state against Communism to curry favour with the United States after the Soviet forces occupied Afghanistan. The CIA had launched its largest covert operation to oust the Soviet army from Afghanistan. About one hundred thousand Muslim “mujahedin” were facilitated to come to the Pak-Afghan border to fight the infidels. After withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the US ditched Pakistan and invoked the Pressler Amendment. The US and the West were looking for another enemy to keep them united, and they found one in Islam. Anyhow, as a result of the Afghan war, Pakistan suffered in playing host to 3.5 million Afghan refugees, loss of life from Peshawar to Karachi in addition to the menace of drugs and Klashnikov culture. In fact, the Afghan jihad destroyed the social fabric of our society. General Pervez Musharraf, while joining the war on terror had said that Pakistan was coerced into joining the “war on terror”. He in fact buckled under pressure on one call from Washington. Anyhow, the American “war on terror” has over time become Pakistan’s war; therefore all pillars of the state and all institutions should unite to end the spectre of terrorism, and at the same time stop working at the pleasure of Uncle Sam. It was unfortunate that our elected leaders, even the president, congratulated the US for the successful operation of the US Marines that killed Osama bin Laden, not realising that our sovereignty had been trampled upon. It is heartening to note that our judiciary and the military are committed to abide by the Constitution. It is hoped that a new independent leadership would emerge to replace servile puppets, and all pillars of the State would work in unison for the integrity of the country, progress and prosperity of the nation and welfare of the people; and establish the badly-damaged writ of the State.
Liberal, democratic, progressive, secular? The PPP, MQM and ANP cannot combat Taliban terrorism by calling themselves progressive, secular, democratic and liberal forces AAMIR HUSSAINI As violent attacks engulf Peshawar, the tribal areas and Karachi, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a declaration of war against all secular and liberal parties. The TTP accepted all responsibility for targeting candidates, election offices, rallies and meetings of Awami National Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Peoples’ Party. Their spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, openly addressed reporters explaining the reasons behind these attacks as their campaign against the anti religious inclination of these parties. But Ehsanullah Ehsan gave no explanation for why they were making an exception of the PML (N), PTI, and JUI (F) who are also taking part in elections that the TTP considers non Islamic. In the past, the TTP has admitted at several occasions that political parties and civilian elected governments have no real power or mandate to settle the dispute between them and the State and that only the military establishment has the final and real authority. He had repeated this earlier when the TTP offered a peace dialogue and demanded that the Army should commit itself to it. But now Ehsanullah says that the second reason for the violent attacks on these three parties is their fundamental role in military operations against the Pushtuns. When TTP says that parties with a secular, liberal ideology are on their hit list then it means that to be secular or liberal is non Islamic and against religion. To my knowledge, Maulana Maudoodi was the first person who distorted and misinterpreted the definition of secularism by translating this term in Urdu as “ladeeniat” and “ilhad”. This meaning and translation was frequently used in Urdu newspapers, books and literature by right wing journalists, editors and writers. Interestingly, other senior scholars of religion disagree with this definition. Prominent Deobandi scholars and clergymen including Hussain Ahmad Madani, Obaidullah Sindhi, Hifz-ur-Rahman Seuharvi and others before Partition and after that did not accept this definition of secularism and always made alliances with leftist intellectuals against obscurantist right wing intellectuals on
given us an independent foreign policy and prosperity for the poor. These ideas should have paved the path for real dignity, respect and freedom from global imperialism. But we did not see this happen. The so- called liberal and the secular parties grabbed all the power they could and did nothing for social justice and allleviation of poverty. There is likely to be tremendous public resentment when the poor become poorer and the rich become richer and some people change their class through kickbacks, extortion, commissions and misuse of their powers. When public infrastructure of different social services does not improve and common people bear the burden in the shape of increase in taxes, then you cannot expect a sympathetic response from the masses. I do not agree with people who say that in the Punjab, the rising popularity of PTI and PML-N signals the rise of the right wing ideology in the province. It is not religiosity that is driving people to these parties but an increase in feelings of alienation from other parties. In five years of rule, the PPP, ANP, and MQM ended any concept of jobs on merit and preferred to support criminal gangs to rule over the masses. The government in the Punjab of the PML-N played the same role and so we see the rise of the third force, the PTI. The position of Imran Khan on the war on terrorism and the alliance with imperialism is the voice of a majority in I am still waiting for statements and factions of JUI changed their Pakistan. Anti Americanism is growing alignment and accepted the definition speeches from Nawaz Sharif and in the country and this does not mean Imran Khan with a clear rejection of of secularism and liberalism made by this interpretation. Another important the growth of fundamentalism or the Jamaat-e Islami. extremism. Most secular, liberal and question on this issue is why the It is common knowledge that this centre-left parties, some of them Punjab has been spared from the country was not conceived as a nationalist parties, have foregone their wrath of the TTP. More importantly, theocracy and Mohammed Ali Jinnah earlier anti imperialist stance and have why is there no strong public was a man of secular values. He made it clear at several occasions that he did condemnation of these attacks on three pro-American leanings today. They not see Muslim nationalism in India as parties? I think that the first reason for have very little room for working class this is the unnatural alliance of the PPP politics, with a wealthier class in the an antithesis to democratic values. leadership and different mafias and the ANP with imperialist powers Jinnah clearly did not believe in supporting them. discrimination based on religion and in and their pro imperialist policies. The These political parties also need an second reason is that five years of his now famous speech to the exercise in introspection and need to government by these parties has Constituent Assembly on 14 August examine how democratic they are destroyed the small and medium 1947 explained that the State would internally. They need to curb the manufacturer, trader, and farmer. The not interfere in the religious affairs of domination of the wealthy and the price hike and power outages have any individual or community and that criminal over party office and look at made the life of the ordinary citizen they would all be equal citizens. There their international alliances. These are would be no Muslim, Hindu, Christian more difficult. These parties cannot combat Taliban big challenges and tasks and there is in the political sense. Jinnah also unlikely to be any major change soon. terrorism by calling themselves nominated Jogandar Nath Mandal as progressive, secular, democratic and the law minister and Zafarullah as the liberal forces. These ideas should have foreign minister of the new cabinet THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST this issue. The JUI-F was founded by Mufti Mehmod Hasan in India before Partition against the two-nation theory. Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani wrote a series of articles in favour of the secular nature of nationalism and the concept of a homeland. In his view, Indian nationalism could only be secular as it had an Indian origin where there were several religions. After partition, the JUI and a majority of factions of Deobandi political sections made political alliances with progressive, liberal and secular parties like the National Awami Party, Awami League and the Communist Party of Pakistan. Even in the 1970s, the JUI made a coalition government with the leftist, socialist and nationalist party, the National Awami Party. Things changed in the ‘80s after the Afghan war began and petro dollars changed people’s minds. It was then that all
which shows his inclusive and secular ideals. We now know better about those who changed the direction of the new nation and shattered the dreams of the founder of Pakistan. It was the generals, the babus out of uniform, feudals and mullahs who introduced religiosity of a sectarian kind, equating the religious impulse with anti democratic behaviour. Their self serving brand of religiosity first attacked the trade unions, student unions and political parties; then it turned on the minorities and excluded the non Muslim community from their charmed circle of Pakistani nationalism. It was this brand of religiosity that turned violent against other Muslims making it impossible to create a healthy environment for a discussion of ideas. It seems that centre-right parties in Pakistan agree with the TTP on the definition of secularism and liberalism.
These political parties also need an exercise in introspection and need to examine how democratic they are internally. They need to curb the domination of the wealthy and the criminal over party oﬃce and look at their international alliances
As others see us, our media and our drones RALPH NADER In watching the massive media coverage and the reaction to the brutal bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, what must the “others” in the Middle East theatre of the American Empire think of a great city in total lockdown from an attack by primitive explosives when Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Yemenis experience far greater casualties and terror attacks several times a week? Including what they believe are terror attacks by US drones, soldiers, aircraft and artillery that have directly killed many thousands of innocent children, women and men in their homes, during funeral processions and wedding parties, or while they’re working in their fields. Here’s what they are thinking: that America is very vulnerable and ready to shake itself upside down to rid itself and protect itself from any terror attacks. The Bush regime, after 9/11, sacrificed US soldiers and millions of innocents in the broader Middle East, drained our economy, so as to ignore the necessities of saving lives and health here at home, and metastasised al-Qaeda into numerous countries, spilling havoc into Iraq and now Syria. We have paid a tremendous price in blowback, because of Mr Bush’s rush to war. Why is the reaction to the events in Boston viewed by some as bizarre? Our president said ‘We will finish the race’. Do we really think that
Pakistan’s progress and prosperity lies in free and fair elections Elections are round the corner. Campaigning by some of the major parties who have jumped into the election arena is at its peak. In fact, it is gaining momentum by each passing day. Parties in the race, old and new,
Every day in the US there are preventable tragedies that receive no media coverage because they aren’t part of the “war on terror”, which has been crowding out stories that would have led to corrective actions to leave this country safer from the corporate predators within its borders the attackers are doing this to disrupt our pleasure in foot racing? The attackers, be they suicide bombers over there or domestic bombers here, are motivated by their hatred of our invasions, our daily bombings, our occupations, our immersion in tribal preferences leading to divide-and-rule sectarian wars. Studies, such as those by the University of Chicago Professor Robert Pape, and former adviser to Barack Obama and Ron Paul during the 2008 presidential campaign, conclude that entry into paradise is not the motivation for these suicide bombers. What drives them is their despair and their desire to expel the foreign invaders from their homeland. Another “others’ - admittedly a smaller number - must see a giant country going berserk with media, speculation, rumors, accusations, and random mobilisations of military equipment. There are enough of these younger people who must say to themselves, maybe it is worth giving up their lives for a place in history to make a nation be fearful because of their rulers’ staggering overreaction. Why give these contorted young minds, frustrated by what they perceive as US attacks on their religion or their ethnic group in their home
are making tall promises to the electorate that they will bring an end to all the predicaments that confront Pakistan today, if they are voted to power. As in the past, they are promising to bring an end to corruption, power outages, nepotism, water shortages etc. etc. The parties are also making strong commitments to improve the law and order situation, uphold the rule of law, bring an end to terrorism, bring cheap and quick justice to the downtrodden of this country, end poverty by creating employment opportunities for the jobless, tap the country’s natural resources to its fullest extent, bring progress and prosperity to this nation and make it stand out in the comity of respected world nations. In short, all the parties are vociferously expressing their intent to do their very best for Pakistan and its people. Undoubtedly, all their rhetoric vis-àvis the predicaments of the masses of this country are close to reality. What, however, does not seem to be convincing enough for the people is
countries, such incentives? Massive overreactions by the mass media (have you seen CNN’s frenzied, nonstop quest for every bit of trivia and speculation hour after hour?) crowds out coverage of far greater preventable loss of life and safety in our country. Other commentators have covered the lesserknown yet huge explosion at the West, Texas fertiliser factory that destroyed far more property and took more human lives than the Boston Marathon assault. But, the dangerous fertilizer plant was corporate criminal negligence, or worse. Every day in the US there are preventable tragedies that receive no media coverage because they aren’t part of the “war on terror”, which has been crowding out stories that would have led to corrective actions to leave this country safer from the corporate predators within its borders. Individually, many Americans intuitively understand the consequences of neglecting problems in our own country to engage in lawless wars and military adventures. Unfortunately, Americans collectively sing the song “que será, será” or “whatever will be, will be” because the big boys in Washington and Wall Street will always make the decisions. Be
their sincerity to address these critical issues as being committed. Over six and a half decade of the country’s existence, many such commitments were repeatedly made by demagogues to the electorate of this country. The electorate vividly remember these commitments, and that is what makes it difficult for them to believe in the tall promises that parties contesting the upcoming elections are, once again, making to them. Is there a way out of this for the people? Yes, there is. First, they must cast their vote. Second, they should use their right to vote judiciously; vote for only those who are sincere and have a good past track record. M. FAZAL ELAHI ISLAMABAD
Save humans, stop using pesticides Pesticides are intended to kill organisms that cause disease and threaten public health, control insects, fungus, and weeds that damage crops
assured that they will often be stupidly harmful in the long-run to our country, and not just to millions of defenseless people abroad who have become victims of the collective punishment or random ravages of our massive push-button weapon systems. In an impressive collection of excerpts titled Against the Beast, a Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire edited by John Nichols; the eminent historian Chalmers Johnson had this to say: “. . .where US-supported repression has created hopeless conditions, to US-supported economic policies that have led to unimaginable misery, blowback reintroduces us to a world of cause and effect.” At a first-ever Senate hearing earlier this week on the use of armed drones away from battlefields, initiated by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and arrogantly boycotted by the imperial Obama Administration, Farea al-Muslimi, a young Yemeni from a village just attacked by a US drone strike, gave witness. Al-Muslimi said, ‘When they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time. What radicals had previously failed
and control pests that damage homes and structures vital to public safety. The toxicity of a pesticide is a measure of its capacity or ability to cause injury or illness, depending on the chemical and physical properties of a substance but in general causing biochemical changes which interfere with normal body functions. Exposure to a sufficient amount of almostany pesticide can affect a person - either through illness, eye exposure or skin sensitivity. Even fairly low risk pesticides can irritate the skin, eyes, nose or mouth. Pesticides can enter the body orally (through the mouth and digestive system), dermally (through the skin) or by inhalation (through the nose and respiratory system). It may occur any time a pesticide is mixed, applied, or handled, and it is often undetected. Because their mode of action is not specific to one species, they often kill or harm the non-target organisms other than pests, including humans. Most toxic effects are reversible and do not cause permanent damage if prompt
to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: there is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America’. As President Obama told the Israelis about the Palestinians, ‘Put yourselves in their shoes’. In country after country, the terrifying whine of 24/7 hovering drones and the knowledge that special US killing teams can drop from the skies at any time, creates a state of terror. A brute-force foreign policy waging war can never effectively wage peace or sensibly engage in early conflict prevention or resolution. An illegal brute-force policy aligns itself with repressive regimes that crush their own people with American weapons and American political/diplomatic cover. Killing innocent men, women and children creates blowback that lasts for generations. For our national security, the American people must recover control of our runaway, unilateral presidency that has torn itself away from constitutional accountabilities and continues to be hijacked by ideologues who ignore our Founding Fathers’ wisdom regarding the separation of powers and avoiding foreign entanglements that become costly, deadly and endless quagmires.
medical treatment is sought. However, some poisons cause irreversible (permanent) damage. Different classes or families of chemicals cause different types of symptoms. Individuals also vary in their sensitivity to different levels of these chemicals. A severe exposure to a pesticide may cause acute effects such as nausea, chest pain and vomiting. Gradually it leads to increased breathing difficulty, skin sensitisation (allergy), asthma, and hypersensitivity after repeated use of a pesticide. As the occurrence of a disease or condition initiated by previous exposure, the development of cancer is possible, ability to induce tumor growth and genetic change as well. It can cause chronic effects resulting from kidney and liver damage - death of liver cells, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fibrosis and cirrhosis. Long exposure can result in birth defects as well as reproductive disorders - such as reduced sperm count, sterility, and birth defects and miscarriage. The contact with pesticides can cause
(Extracts from-- Counterpunch)
neurological disorders like memory loss, loss of coordination, reduced speed of response to stimuli, reduced visual ability, altered or uncontrollable mood and general behaviour, and reduced motor skills. These symptoms are often very subtle and may not be recognised by the medical community as a clinical effect. Children are at greater risk from exposure to pesticides because of their small size: relative to their size, children eat, drink, and breathe more than adults. Their bodies and organs are growing rapidly, which also makes them more susceptible; in fact, children may be exposed to pesticides even while in the womb. It is essential to understand pesticide toxicity in order to follow safe use practices and eliminate exposure. BIBI AFTAB ISLAMABAD Please email your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to our address in Islamabad.
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Holes in the status quo narrative Political parties who have not been targeted, must be favoured by the establishment and hence pre-poll rigging exists in their favour. This thinking is vociferously argued over the electronic media, the social media and in newspaper editorials. There are significant problems with this line of argument terror politics we witness today. Compromised by personal and political corruption, the incumbent parties are on the back foot in front of the 87 million voters. How can they seek any favour or sympathy NILOFER A. QAZI from the people of Pakistan? Fourth. Why would the terrorists target these particular political There is no doubt that Pakistanis of parties? Why is the establishment all political persuasion are appalled and its non-state actors targeting by the unabated murder and terror people who they have been quite that has been unleashed before happy with for five years? Did these general elections. Terrorists like the political parties bother them in any TTP have been threatening and way or stem their growth? Was their targeting specific party workers. The self-proclaimed liberal parties influence reduced or challenged? have espoused a line and developed a Was their funding from within and outside the country stopped in any narrative that goes something like way? Did these parties eliminate this: since the judicial murder of their leader ZAB (PPP) and because their training grounds in our schools and/or terror camps? If all these we are secular (ANP), the basic questions are honestly establishment is against us. As a answered why would the terrorists result, they do not want these be challenging these specific political particular political parties to return parties? to power. Terrorist groups like the Thinking clearly, it seems like an TTP are assumed to be under the old trick of the establishment seems influence of some parts of the to be at play. Those politically weak establishment who are targeting these parties. These non state actors attack the new forces challenging the have their own agenda too that fits in status quo. This is an old game the establishment has always played with the establishment. with the naïve morally bankrupt Further, because specific political class. Divide them and political parties have not been expose their ineptitude and turn targeted, they must be favoured them on themselves. But who would by the establishment and hence this serve? Possibly, those who are pre poll rigging exists in their favour. Naturally, this undermines most threatened by democracy. A leader with integrity who is the credibility of political parties uncompromising on Pakistan’s which have not been attacked by sovereignty is the biggest challenge terrorists so far. This thinking is currently, viciously to the establishment and its handmaidens. A politician and a and vociferously argued over the political movement that has integrity electronic media, the social media are unmanageable and pose a and in newspaper editorials. There challenge to those who have run out are significant problems with this of options. The ruse and a narrative line of argument and thought purposefully promoted is that the process. PTI and some religious parties are First, the most unfortunate and not being attacked by the TTP bone chilling murders of ANP workers have been condemned by all because they are approved of by the Pakistanis, including the parties that establishment. This is a fantastic have not been targeted. The death of cover to strengthen those who are partners in the pillage of this the any brave political worker is a country. The negative media burden we all have to bear, their campaign against this one party is sacrifice for a better, progressive indicative of the fundamental Pakistan is a debt we owe them. challenge it poses to the status quo. Second, there is little doubt over Thinking Pakistanis must begin to five years of governance and ask relevant questions. Whom has anecdotal field feedback in these the status quo served so far? days, that the incumbent political parties in all the four provinces have Democratic Pakistanis must begin to challenge the manufactured miserably failed to deliver on narrative to side step the real issue promises they had made to the people. This statement can be safely and to ensure that the politicians remain weak, divided and backed and one that will find little challenge irrespective of which party manageable. It is time we stood up to such we plan to vote for in the upcoming negativity and exercised our right elections. to think positively. Let us not fall Third, it is safe to argue these parties have very little to show when prey to propaganda just when we presenting their case to the people of are required to keep our heads cool and level headed. Pakistan. Besides the mismanagement, they showed THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE complete inability to challenge the very forces that are responsible for JOURNALIST
The perils of progress EHSAN KAZI
As shown in many development reports, India’s annual growth rate remained between 6-8 percent in the last two decades. Meanwhile, the social consequences of such progress are hardly ever accounted for
The rape of women, foreign tourists, and minor girls is becoming a regularly reported phenomenon in recent times in India, particularly from its capital, Delhi. As different media reports reveal, there have been at least five major rape incidents in the country, including Delhi, in the previous few weeks. Since the tragic incident of the rape of a medical student in a bus in December 2012, the issue has got considerable attention in the media at home and abroad, and in response to rising public pressure, the government has reportedly taken many protective measures to ensure the safety of working women. However, the sad fact is that since that incident more such events have taken place. As reported by the BBC, the previous week a minor girl of five was raped by a bus driver near his house in Delhi. In another incident in the previous month, a Swiss cycling Tourist was raped by seven men in her camp in an area of Datia district in Madhya Pradesh where she was staying with her husband for a night. Ironically, as reported by the media, she was on a cycling tour with her spouse and had avoided coming to Pakistan due to security concerns. These are some of the cases that got media attention and were reported to the police, while it is estimated that many such cases go unreported. All this is very sad, indeed. While there is much focus of the media on the so called shining India in the past two decades, the rise of a global financial giant, and this is portrayed in the Indian and international media creating a positive perception. But social reality remains as grim as ever.
After these recent crimes, there has been much debate on various aspects of such incidents. Some analysts have blamed the male dominated social structure, while others blame the government and the police for not taking stern action. All these may be relevant factors, but there is another side to the story which does not get too much attention. While India has grown tremendously as an economic power, this is not evident on the social scale. The situation of women, lower castes, the poor and minorities has stagnated. Development due to large private sector investment has contributed more than the State and this has actually created a large underclass alongside the burgeoning middle class. There are stark differences in the ways of living, thinking and behaving of these two classes. And since development has been made through private enterprise, there is little concern with the social conditions under which people live because the prime goal is making profit. So what India is reaping may be fruits of its unbridled and unbalanced growth which has actually benefitted a few while leaving a majority of people behind. As shown in many development reports, India’s annual growth rate remained between 6-8 per cent in the last two decades which is considered a remarkable achievement by economic standards. Meanwhile, the social consequences of such progress are hardly ever accounted for. Reports on crimes against women reveal that there has been 700 per cent increase in rape cases in the past 35 years. Has anyone asked the right questions about why there is such increase in crimes against women in times of
such prosperity? Has anyone made the links? Usually such questions are not asked because they pose other serious questions on the overall idea of economic growth and its fuzzy indicators. Due to this economic boom, more women joined the workforce in a country with deeply rooted male bias toward women. Although a large number of women have been able to come out of poverty, they have been put in a state of constant insecurity. According to just one indicator, each year, thousands of female fetuses are destroyed in the first trimester of pregnancy. Rather than addressing these attitudinal issues, it has been assumed that things would improve automatically as the economy became stronger. In fact, the inverse has happened. Another contributing factor could be the role of Indian cinema and television soaps in which the exploitation and sexualisation of children in the name of fashion has become mainstream. This was an issue raised by Shobha Dé in her column a few years back. It seems that the only purpose of young girls and boys is to become stars or heroes in the fanciful world of the silver screen. This has hurt children and youth in a number of ways as they have become the object of adult male gaze. Parents tend to see this as innocent fun but if looked at closely, the message of these soaps and idols is anything but innocent. Indian cinema has helped sell India’s softer image abroad with daring storylines, explicit scenes, and baring costumes of female actors. Most movies released in recent years depict romantic liaison with overt sexual content and at least one if not
more “item” songs. It is argued that such content is already a part of Hollywood movies and they are socially acceptable in India. But by reducing the sexual encounter to entertainment, the media industry in India is promoting vulgarity and glamourising it. While the elite in society and the financers of the film industry view this as an entertainment, ordinary people may get quite another message from this medium. The elite may have the means to pursue such libertine lifestyles but when you arouse in working class boys and men these same passions, it may lead to dreadful consequences. Mainstream Indian cinema has a lot of pornographic content which has been brought to the courts in recent times. The Indian Supreme court has also taken notice of this and directed the government to take action to tackle this issue. Similarly, Indian porn star, Sunny Leon, has also come under fire. Though all these aspects are important the real challenge is to protect girls and women from sex crime in such a charged environment. So, in addition to legal and technical measures, there is a need to address the issue at the social level. And this is not limited to India. Any country going through rapid development may have to face such consequences. The important lesson to be drawn from this phenomenon is that progress of any kind always carries its own perils and there will always be a gulf between economic progress of the few and a larger social reality will need to be bridged. THE WRITER IS A DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT BASED IN ISLAMABAD
US citizens: guinea pigs for the chemical corporations DAVID ROSNER AND GERALD MARKOWITZ
How Americans became exposed to biohazards in the greatest uncontrolled experiment ever launched
A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them. We can’t escape it in our cars. It’s in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there’s a reason why you’ve never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name and no antidote. The culprit behind this silent killer is lead. And vinyl. And formaldehyde. And asbestos. And Bisphenol A. And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised “better living through chemistry”, but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the United States into one grand unnatural experiment. Today, we are all unwitting subjects in the largest set of drug trials ever. Without our knowledge or consent, we are testing thousands of suspected toxic chemicals and compounds, as well as new substances whose safety is largely unproven and whose effects on human beings are all but unknown. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) itself has begun monitoring our bodies for 151 potentially dangerous chemicals, detailing the variety of pollutants we store in our bones, muscle, blood, and fat. None of the companies introducing these new chemicals has even bothered to tell us we’re part of their experiment. The story of how Americans became unwitting test subjects began more than a century ago. The key figure was Alice Hamilton, the “mother” of American occupational medicine, who began documenting the way workers in lead paint
pigment factories, battery plants, and lead mines were suffering terrible palsies, tremors, convulsions, and deaths after being exposed to lead dust that floated in the air, coating their workbenches and clothes. Soon thereafter, children exposed to lead paint and lead dust in their homes were also identified as victims of this deadly neurotoxin. Many went into convulsions and comas after crawling on floors where lead dust from paint had settled, or from touching lead-painted toys, or teething on leadpainted cribs, windowsills, furniture, and woodwork. Instead of leveling with the public, the lead industry through its trade group, the Lead Industries Association, began a six-decadelong campaign to cover-up its product’s dire effects. It challenged doctors who reported lead-poisoned children to health departments, distracted the public through advertisements that claimed lead was “safe” to use, and fought regulation of the industry by local government, all in the service of profiting from putting a poison in paint, gasoline, plumbing fixtures, and even toys, baseballs, and fishing gear. Only after thousands of children were poisoned and, in the 1960s, activist groups like theYoung Lords and the Black Panthers began to use lead poisoning as a symbol of racial and class oppression, did public health professionals and the federal government begin to rein in companies like the SherwinWilliams paint company and the Ethyl Corporation, which produced tetraethyl lead, the lead-additive in gasoline. The CDC estimates that in at least 4 million households in the US today, children are still exposed to dangerous amounts of
lead from old paint. Studies have linked lost IQ points, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, dyslexia, and even possibly high incarceration rates to tiny amounts of lead in children’s bodies. Unfortunately, when it came to the creation of America’s chemical soup, the lead industry was hardly alone. Asbestos is another classic example of an industrial toxin that found its way into people’s homes and bodies. For decades, insulation workers, brake mechanics, construction workers, and a host of others in hundreds of trades fell victim to the disabling and deadly lung diseases of asbestosis or to lung cancer and the fatal cancer called mesothelioma when they breathed in dust produced during the installation of boilers, the insulation of pipes, the fixing of cars that used asbestos brake linings, or the spraying of asbestos on girders. Once again, the industry knew its product’s dangers early and worked assiduously to cover them up. Despite growing medical knowledge about its effects (and increasing industry attempts to downplay or suppress that knowledge), asbestos was soon introduced to the American home and incorporated into products ranging from insulation for boilers and piping in basements to floor tiles and joint compounds. It was used to make sheetrock walls, roof shingles, ironing boards, oven gloves, and hot plates. Soon an occupational hazard was transformed into a threat to all consumers. Today, however, these devastating industrial-turned-domestic toxins, which destroyed the health and sometimes took the lives of hundreds of thousands, seem almost quaint when compared to the brew of
potential or actual toxins we’re regularly ingesting in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Of special concern are a variety of chlorinated hydrocarbons, including DDT and other pesticides that were once spread freely nationwide, and despite being banned decades ago, have accumulated in the bones, brains, and fatty tissue of virtually all of us. While old houses with lead paint and asbestos shingles pose risks, potentially more frightening chemicals are lurking in new construction going on in the latest minihousing boom across America. Our homes are now increasingly made out of lightweight fibers and reinforced synthetic materials whose effects on human health have never been adequately studied individually, let alone in the combinations we’re all subjected to today. Lurking in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, for instance, are window cleaners and spot removers that contain known or suspected cancer-causing agents. The same can be said of cosmetics in your makeup case or of your plastic water bottle or microwavable food containers. Teflon, or perfluorooctanoic acid, the heat-resistant, non-stick coating that has been sold to us as indispensable for pots and pans, is yet another in the list of substances that may be poisoning us, almost unnoticed. These synthetic materials are just a few of the thousands now firmly embedded in our lives and our bodies. Most have been deployed in our world and put in our air, water, homes, and fields without being studied at all for potential health risks, nor has much attention been given to how they interact in the environments in which we
live, let alone our bodies. The groups that produce these miracle substances - like the petrochemical, plastics, and rubber industries, including major companies like Exxon, Dow, and Monsanto argue that, until we can definitively prove the chemical products slowly leaching into our bodies are dangerous, we have no “right,” and they have no obligation, to remove them from our homes and workplaces. The idea that they should prove their products safe before exposing the entire population to them seems to be a foreign concept. In the 1920s, the oil industry made the same argument about lead as an additive in gasoline, even though it was already known that it was a dangerous toxin for workers. Spokesman for companies like General Motors insisted that it was a “gift of God,” irreplaceable and essential for industrial progress and modern living, just as the lead industry argued for decades that lead was “essential” to produce good paint that would protect our homes. Like the oil, lead, and tobacco industries of the twentieth century, the chemical industry, through the American Chemistry Council and public relations firms like Hill & Knowlton, is fighting tooth and nail to stop regulation and inhibit legislation that would force it to test chemicals before putting them in the environment. In the meantime, Americans remain the human guinea pigs in advanced trials of hundreds if not thousands of commonly used, largely untested chemicals. There can be no doubt that this is the largest uncontrolled experiment in history. (EXTRACTS FROM-- TOMDISPATCH.COM)
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Thousands rally against European austerity on May Day
Hezbollah pushes hard stances on borders
DAMASCUS: UNIFIL patrols in southern Lebanon have increasingly faced confrontations with Hezbollah as the number of Lebanese Army soldiers has dwindled in the border region, Beirut-basedThe Daily Star reported Wednesday. According to the report, the peacekeepers' patrols expressed frustration with obstacles placed in front of them by Hezbollah, meant to demonstrate the group's power amid regional unrest and Israeli displays of strength. The lack of Lebanese troops on the southern border, now numbering about 3,000, presents a vulnerable situation for UNIFIL facing Hezbollah, the report stated. Though according to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, the Lebanese Army is charged with controlling the southern border with support from UNIFIL, The Daily Star reported. “The Lebanese Army is nowhere near that right now. In fact, they are further away from that than before,” the report quoted one UNIFIL officer as saying. Earlier Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hinted that his armed Shia group would increase intervention in Syria on behalf of President Bashar Assad's loyalists if deemed necessary, Qatar-based AlJazeera reported Wednesday. –AGENCIES
Bangladeshi workers protest against low wages and poor working conditions
ATHENS/MADRID: Trains and ferries were canceled and hospital staff walked off the job in Greece on Wednesday and thousands were due to demonstrate across Spain as May Day triggered protests against harsh government spending cuts. Separately, Turkish riot police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds gathering in central Istanbul for a rally on what has become a traditional labor holiday. In Spain, where the unemployment rate stands at a record 27 percent, the two largest trade unions, CCOO and
UGT, called on workers and the unemployed to join over 80 demonstrations across the country. In Athens, about 1,000 policemen were deployed to handle any violence during rallies and strikes called by public and private sector unions. Participation, however, was expected to be well below the levels of major protests last year when as many as 100,000 Greeks marched to the central Syntagma square chanting slogans. In Istanbul, thousands of police were stationed across the city center to block access to the main Taksim
garment factory last week that killed more than 400 workers, with furious protesters demanding the execution of the factory bosses. Several thousand workers holding red banners and flags chanted “Hang the killers, Hang the Factory Owners!” as they took to the streets of Dhaka at the start of a series of nationwide demonstrations. Angry workers in Cambodia marched to parliament to deliver a petition demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $150 a
square as crowds of protesters converged in different parts of the city early in the morning attempting to storm police barricades. In Russia, around 1.5 million Russians were expected to participate in May 1 parades - a fraction of the millions that used to march in the Soviet times. Bangladeshi protesters enraged by a deadly factory collapse led rallies across Asia against low wages and poor working conditions on May Day. Fury in Bangladesh focused on the country’s worst ever industrial disaster, the collapse of a
‘Palestinian conflict not territorial’
Philippines allots more funds to address inequality MANILA: The Philippine government is addressing the widening inequality between the rich and poor through pouring in more funds on education and other social services, a senior government official said Wednesday. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued the statement in response to the report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) saying that despite the economic growth in some Asian countries, such as the Philippines, the gap between the rich and the poor continued to widen. "The key to reducing inequality is better education, better healthcare, social safety nets and higher and broader economic growth specially in agriculture," Lacierda said in a news briefing. This was the reason why the Aquino administration has increased the education budgets by about 50 percent, healthcare by around 80 percent, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) by over 260 percent, infrastructure by over 30 percent, agriculture by around 80 percent, he explained. "With better tax compliance, we will be able to pour more resources in the war against poverty and inequality," he stressed. –AGENCIES
Taliban kill senior peace envoy in south Afghanistan KANDAHAR: Taliban killed a senior member of Afghanistan's peace council on Wednesday, officials said, dealing another blow to nascent peace efforts with the insurgency. President Hamid Karzai formed a 70-member High Peace Council in 2010 in a bid to reach a peace settlement with the insurgents, but little has been achieved, with the Taliban saying they will not talk with the Afghan government. Malim Shahwali, the council's chief in the southern province of Helmand, was traveling to the violence-plagued Gereshk district when insurgents ambushed his convoy, said the provincial governor's spokesman, Omar Zwak. "First an explosion hit his convoy and then the Taliban gunmen opened fire, killing Malim Shahwali and two bodyguards," Zwak told Reuters. –AGENCIES
month in garment factories, which are a major source of goods for Western clothing firms. In the Philippines, thousands of labourers staged mostly peaceful rallies across the capital Manila to demand higher wages and better working conditions. In Hong Kong, one of Asia’s beacons of capitalism, trade unions said they were expecting 5,000 people to march to the headquarters of Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, in support of striking dock workers. –AGENCIES
DHAKA: Two children cover their mouths with hands at a mass funeral in Dhaka. The collapse of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building has left about 400 dead so far. –WIRE SERVICE
10 killed, 37 injured in Iraq attacks BAGHDAD: Ten people were killed and 37 others wounded in separate bombings and shootings in central and eastern Iraq on Wednesday, the police said. Three members of a government-backed paramilitary group, known as Awakening Council, were killed and 13 wounded in a car bomb explosion in the town of Garma near the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. One of the killed was the leader of the group, whose members were gathering at a military base in the town when the blast occurred, the source said. The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq, consists of armed groups, including some powerful antiU.S. Sunni insurgent groups who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities. Also in the town, gunmen attacked police forces and exchanged fire with them, killing a policeman and wounding another, the source added. Meanwhile, a civilian was killed and two were wounded by sniper shots in Nu'imiyah area, just south of Fallujah, he said. Elsewhere, gunmen attacked a police patrol in the town of Baiji, some 220 km north of Baghdad, killing a police officer and a policeman, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua. In Baghdad, five people were wounded when a car bomb ripped through alHusseiniyah district in the northeastern part of the capital, an interior ministry source told Xinhua. In northern Iraq, a roadside bomb struck a police patrol in the city of Kirkuk, some
250 km north of Baghdad, destroying a police vehicle and wounding three policemen aboard, the police said. In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead a cleric of a Sunni mosque in the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. In a separate incident, a civilian was killed and 11 wounded in a roadside bomb explosion late on Tuesday night at a coffee shop at a village located some 40 km northeast of Baquba, the source said. Also in the province, a civilian was shot dead in the morning by gunmen in western Baquba, while a policeman and a civilian were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in the town of Kan'an, some 20 km northeast of Baquba, the source added. Violence is still common in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease since its peak in 2006 and 2007 when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings. “Today we have the problem of (groups) forming armed militias that must be toughly handled because they will drag us backward,” Mr. al-Maliki told a tribal rally in Baghdad. “Anyone involved in setting up militias will be brought to justice, whoever he may be.” Mr. Al-Maliki’s warning comes after recent attacks by local insurgents on security forces and government buildings. The Shiite premier called for keeping the army away from “politics and sectarianism.” “We are building a professional army, which should shun sectarianism and party politics.” The death of 53 people in a stand-off between the army and Sunni protesters in northern Kirkuk last week triggered unrest in several parts of the country. –AGENCIES
US should watch Japan’s nationalism, says China BEIJING: The United States should be just as concerned as other countries about a rise inJapanese nationalism, China's ambassador to Washington said, hinting that the United States should not offer Japan encouragement in its dispute with China over a group of islets. China and Japan are involved in an increasingly bitter stand-off over the uninhabited islands in theEast China Sea, called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, which lie atop of possibly large energy reserves. Beijing last month protested a voyage by 10 boats carrying Japanese activists into waters near the islands. While tensions flared between Japan and China and South Korea last month after Japanese lawmakers visited a shrine seen by China and Korea as a symbol of Japan's past militarism. "What kind of message does this send to the international community?" Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador in Washington, was cited as saying in a statement. "All of these kinds of acts have attracted a lot of attention from international public opinion, and I believe that the US cannot not know about this," Cui said. –AGENCIES
JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that an Israeli withdrawal would not bring peace with the Palestinians because the heart of the conflict was their refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state. His remarks came a day after the Arab League announced moves to revive and modify its 2002 peace initiative, drawing praise from Washington and from Israel’s chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni but no official response from the Israeli government. “The root of the conflict is not territorial. It started a long time before 1967,” Netanyahu said in a meeting with foreign ministry officials, referring to the year Israel seized Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem during the Six-Day War. “You saw what happened when we left the Gaza Strip. We evacuated the last settlers and what did we get? Missiles,” he said of Israel’s withdrawal of all troops and settlers from the coastal enclave in 2005. “The Palestinians’ lack of will to recognise the state of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people is the root of the conflict,” he said, in remarks communicated by a senior government source. The Saudi-led proposal, which offers full diplomatic ties with the Arab world in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from land occupied in 1967, now includes a reference to the
principle of mutually agreed land swaps, in a move hailed by Washington as “a very big step forward.” But Netanyahu has categorically ruled out any withdrawal to the “indefensible” 1967 lines, and on Wednesday said such a move would not solve the conflict, which was not about land but about “the very existence of a Jewish state,” the source said. “If we reach a peace agreement I want to know that the conflict will not continue. That there won’t be any more Palestinian claims afterwards,”Netanyahu told the diplomats. “The root of the conflict is Acre, Jaffa and Ashkelon and you need to say it. You don’t need to apologise. You need to say the truth,” he told them. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is engaged in efforts to relaunch stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, believes the Arab Peace Initiative could provide a framework for a future peace deal. Speaking to Haaretz, two foreign ministry sources who attended the meeting quoted Netanyahu as saying the demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state was not a condition for the start of talks, but rather for their conclusion. “Until the Palestinians recognise our right to exist as a national state — no matter what the borders — and until they declare that the conflict is over, there will not be peace,” they quoted him as saying. –AGENCIES
Obama renews call to close Guantanamo prison WASHINGTON: President Obama said on Wednesday that he would recommit himself to closing the Guantánamo Bay prison, a goal that he all but abandoned in the face of Congressional opposition in his first term and that faces steep challenges now. “It’s not sustainable,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference. “The notion that we’re going to keep 100 individuals in no man’s land in perpetuity,” he added, makes no sense. “All of us should reflect on why exactly are we doing this? Why are we doing this?” Describing the prison in Cuba as a waste of taxpayer money that has had a damaging effect on American foreign policy, Mr. Obama said he would try again to persuade Congress to lift restrictions on transferring inmates. He also said he had ordered a review of “everything that we can do administratively.” But there is no indication that Mr. Obama’s proposal to close the prison, as he vowed to do upon taking office in 2009 after criticizing it during the presidential campaign, has become any more popular. Mr. Obama remarked that “it’s a hard case to make” because “it’s easy to demagogue the issue.” The plan for Guantánamo he proposed — moving any remaining prisoners to a Supermax-style prison in Illinois— was blocked by Congress, which barred any further transfers of detainees onto domestic soil. –AGENCIES
Despair of the aborigines down under At airports in Western Australia, arriving passengers are greeted by banners with smiling aboriginal faces in hard hats, promoting the plunderers of their land. Barely a fraction of mining, oil and gas revenue has benefited aboriginal communities, whose poverty is an enduring shock
LEVEN miles by ferry from Perth is Western Australia’s “premier tourist destination”. This is Rottnest Island, whose scabrous wild beauty and isolation evoked for me Robben Island in South Africa. Empires are never short of devil’s islands; what makes Rottnest different, indeed what makes Australia different, is a silence and denial on an epic scale. ‘Five awesome reasons to visit!’ the brochure says. These range from ‘family fun’ to ‘historical Rottnest’, which describes the island as ‘a guiding light, a defender of the peace’. In eight pages of prescribed family fun, there is just one word of truth: prison. More than any colonial society, Australia consigns its dirtiest secrets, past and present, to a wilful ignorance or indifference. When I was at school in Sydney, standard texts often dismissed the most enduring human entity on earth: the indigenous first Australians. ‘It was quite useless to
treat them fairly’, wrote the historian Stephen Roberts, ‘since they were completely amoral and incapable of sincere and prolonged gratitude’. His acclaimed colleague Russel Ward was succinct: ‘We are civilised today and they are not’. That Australia has since changed is not disputed. To measure this change, a visit to Western Australia is essential. The vast, richest state is home to the world’s biggest “resources” boom: iron ore, gold, nickel, oil, petroleum, gas. Profits are in the multiple billions. When Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd tried to impose a modest tax, he was overthrown by his own party following a $22 million propaganda campaign by the mining companies, whose mates in the media uphold the world’s first Murdocracy. ‘Assisted by Rio Tinto’ reads the last line of an unctuous newspaper report on the benefits of the boom to black Australians. At airports, arriving passengers are greeted by banners with smiling aboriginal faces in hard hats, promoting the plunderers of their land. ‘This is our story’ says the slogan. It isn’t.
Barely a fraction of mining, oil and gas revenue has benefited Aboriginal communities, whose poverty is an enduring shock. In Roeburne, in the minerals-rich Pilbara, 80 percent of the children suffer from an ear infection called otitis media that causes partial deafness. Or they go blind from preventable trachoma. Or they contract Dickensian infections. That is their story. The Nyoongar people have lived around what is now Perth for many thousands of years. Incredibly, they survive. Noel Nannup, a Nyoongar elder, and Marianne McKay, a Nyoongar activist, accompanied me to Rottnest Island. Noel Nannup’s protective presence was important to Marianne. Unlike the jolly tourists heading for “Rotto”, they spent days ‘preparing for the pain’. ‘All our families remember what was done’, said Noel. What was done was the torture, humiliation and murder of the First Australians. Wrenched from their communities in an insidious genocide that divided and emasculated the indigenous nations, shackled men and
boys as young as eight endured the perilous nine-hour journey in an open longboat. Cold, sick and terrified prisoners were jammed into a windowless “holding cell”, like an oversized kennel. Today, an historical plaque refers to it as The Boathouse. The suppression is breathtaking. In the prison known as The Quod, as many as 167 Aboriginal prisoners were locked in 28 tiny cells. This lasted well into the twentieth century. I booked a room there. The prison is now called Rottnest Lodge. It has a spa and there are double bunks for children: family fun. Noel Nannup stood in the centre of the room and described its echoes of terrible suffering. The window looked out on where a gallows had stood, where tourists now sunbathed. None had a clue. A “country club” overlooks a mass grave. A psychopath who ran the Quod was Henry Vincent, who liked to whip prisoners and murdered two of them, an inquiry was told. Today, Vincent is venerated as a “pioneer” and tourists are encouraged to follow the “Vincent
Way Heritage Trail”. In the Governor’s Bar, the annual Henry Vincent Golf Trophy is displayed. No one there had a clue. “Rotto” is not the past. On 28 March, Richard Harding, formerly Inspector of Custodial Services, declared Western Australia a “State of Imprisonment”. During the boom, Aboriginal incarceration has more than doubled. Interned in often ratinfested cells, almost 60 percent of the state’s young prisoners are Aboriginal - out of 2.5 percent of the population. While their mothers hold vigils outside, aboriginal children are held in solitary confinement in an adult jail. A former prisons minister, Margaret Quirk, told me the state was now “racking and stacking” black Australians. Their rate of incarceration is five times that of apartheid South Africa. The Aboriginal stereotype is violent, yet the violence routinely meted out to black Australians by authority is of little interest. Deaths in custody are common. An elder known as Mr. Ward was arrested for driving under the
influence on a bush road. In searing heat, he was driven more than 300 miles in the iron pod of a prison van run by the British security company GSL. Inside the mobile cell the temperature reached 50 degrees centigrade. Mr. Ward cooked to death, his stomach burned raw where he had collapsed on the van’s scorching floor. The coroner called it a “disgrace”, yet the Department of Public Prosecutions refused to take action, saying there was “no evidence”. This is not unusual. The two security van drivers were eventually fined under Health and Safety rules. Eco-tourism is also booming in Western Australia. The Kimberley region is popular with Europeans, who appreciate its ancient flora and fauna. Last year, 40 aboriginal youngsters killed themselves here, a 100-fold increase. When I first reported indigenous Australia a generation ago, black suicide was rare. Today, the despair is so profound that the second cause of Aboriginal death is suicide. It is booming. (The Guardian)
THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
USAID supports women in energy sector ISLAM ABAD: “Women already playing a key role in Pakistan’s economy and strengthening their role in energy sector will create a real difference in national prosperity,” said Craig VanDevelde, Chief of Party of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Power Distribution Program, at a gender equity workshop organized by the USAID to reinforce the role of women in the energy sector. He said that women’s equality is a prerequisite for the development of any country. The national economy is experiencing important losses because of low participation of women in the economy and this also makes women heavily dependent on their families. Development of a gender equity
strategy for operations in the areas of employment and career development, recruitments and treatment in a work place in DISCOs is a cross-cutting initiative of USAID Power Distribution Program,” Craig VanDevelde added. He said with inflation spiking to 12.7 percent against the 1.4 percent it has been for the past seven years, the single salary of the earning male member can no longer feed a family, thus necessitating women in the professional workforce. It is becoming imperative to double the number of the female workforce at a rapid pace; in order to achieve this missed opportunities for women must be identified. Further to this it is incumbent to pave the way for improvement of the working
environment vis-à-vis gender balance, and instill an atmosphere that accepts women as assets and resources, he added. The USAID Power Distribution Program is currently holding Gender Equity Training sessions at all Government-owned Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) of Pakistan. These trainings are in line with the Constitution of Pakistan, which discourages discrimination on the basis of sex and allow for measures to ensure the total participation of women in all spheres of economic life. The USAID Power Distribution Program is currently holding Gender Equity Training sessions at all Government-owned Power
Distribution Companies (DISCOs) of Pakistan. These trainings will also uplift fundamental freedoms of
women in every field, bringing the status they hold if not in parallel to, then close to that held by
men, serving as a positive measure in eliminating discrimination against women.–ONLINE
Crude tumbles as US supplies climb to 82-year high NEW YORK: West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled as U.S. inventories reached an 82-year high amid signs of economic slowdown in the U.S. and China. Futures headed for the biggest loss in almost six months after the Energy Information Administration said stockpiles jumped to 395.3 million barrels in the seven days to April 26, the most since the government began gathering weekly data in 1982. According to monthly data, they were last at this level in 1931. U.S. companies added fewer workers than forecast in April, and China’s manufacturing grew at a weaker pace, separate reports showed. Gasoline demand slipped 0.3 percent over the period to 8.51 million barrels a day, putting consumption of the fuel 1.8 percent lower than a year earlier. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg “WTI, in our view, is prone to some downward pressure,” said Michael Wittner, the head of oil-market research at Societe Generale SA in New York. “The U.S. is very comfortably supplied. The macroeconomic data flow continues to be weak.” WTI for June delivery retreated $2.85, or 3.1 percent, to $90.61 a barrel at 12:50 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were at $90.95 before the report and fell as low as $90.11 after. The volume of all futures traded was 51 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day. Brent for June settlement slid $2.92, or 2.9 percent, to $99.45 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 42 percent above the 100-day average. –AGENCIES
Bangladesh and the cost of doing nothing
Wall Street slips on weak data, declining materials shares
NEW YORK: Stocks fell on Wednesday after a batch of economic data indicated weaker-than-expected growth in the world's top economies a day after the S&P 500 index closed at a record high. Private employers added 119,000 jobs in April, well below economists' expectations, and a separate report showed the pace of manufacturing growth slowed in April as the sector expanded only modestly. Adding to concern, growth in China's manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed last month as new export orders fell, raising fresh doubts after a disappointing first quarter. Materials and energy stocks led declines as expectations of slower growth sent prices of basic materials lower. A gauge of commodities .TRJCRB fell 1.4 percent while the S&P energy index .SPNY fell 1.1 percent and materials.–AGENCIES
‘labourers backbone of country’s economy’ ISLAMABAD: Chief organizer of PML-F, Kanwar Qutabuddin and party president Malik Hammad have declared that labourers were backbone of Pakistan’s economy and labourers should be fully facilitated at governmental level. Addressing a rally of labourers held under the auspices of PML-F, he regretted the plight of labourers in Pakistan, due to which the economy of the country was also badly affecting. “A strong, vibrant, satisfied and prosperous labourer is central to economy of any country,” he added. The rally taken out from China Chowk and culminating at the National Press Club, was also participated by other PML-F leaders. –ONLINE
Construction spending rate hits seven-month low WASHINGTON: Construction spending dropped to a seven-month low in March as public outlays recorded their largest drop since 2006, which could cause the firstquarter economic growth estimate to be trimmed. Construction spending fell 1.7 percent to an annual rate of $856.72 billion, the lowest level since August, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. Spending had increased 1.5 percent in February. Economists polled by Reuters had expected construction spending to rise 0.7 percent in March. The acrossthe-board decline in construction spending was the latest indication that the economy exited the first quarter with less momentum and suggested tighter fiscal policy was starting to take a toll. –AGENCIES
Dollar slips before Fed; oil sinks on growth fears NEW YORK: The dollar hit a twomonth low on Wednesday after disappointing U.S. private-sector job growth reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain its loose monetary policy, while oil prices slid more than 3 percent as the latest data added to concerns about global growth. Oil fell sharply after manufacturing data from both the United States and China, the world's two biggest energy consumers, raised new doubts about the strength of the global economy. Brent crude slid below $100 a barrel for the first time since April 23. The weak U.S. data also drove U.S. Treasury yields down, with the benchmark 10-year note yield hitting the lowest intra-day level so far this year. –AGENCIES
US Dollar Euro British Pound UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Canadian Dollar
99.70 128.26 150.40 26.90 26.40 345.30 95.48
99.95 128.50 150.65 27.15 26.65 351.85 97.17
n Bangladesh, the search for survivors has become an effort to recover the dead. After a garment factory building collapsed in the Dhaka suburb of Savar last week, residents and rescue workers spent days digging through the rubble hoping to save the lives of people caught in yet another Bangladeshi industrial accident. At least 390 people are thought to have died. This type of accident is all too common in Bangladesh. In November, more than 100 people died in a garment factory fire when workers could not easily escape the building. In 2006, 84 people were killed in a blaze because fire exits were locked. This is what happens when a $20 billion industry accounts for 3.2 million jobs and 80 percent of a country’s exports. It needs the industry too much, especially when those jobs have helped push female participation in the workplace from 26.1 percent in 2002-03 to a stillinsufficient 36 percent in 2010. The globalized economy demands that Bangladesh provide cheap goods, and cheap goods are easier to manufacture when there aren’t strict rules to follow — or at least when they’re not enforced. It also helps when those rules are set by the same people who own the factory buildings. A sector that is too big to fail can repel government-induced regulation. Mohammed Sohel Rana, who owned the building that collapsed, was escorted to court yesterday in body armor and a helmet. But the factory wasn’t hiss only project — he was also a local leader of the ruling party’s youth wing. This is partly why it’s so hard for developing countries to bite the hand that feeds: It would require the powerful to bite themselves. A groundswell of protest might change things, and we’re seeing the beginnings of that. Bangladeshis have burned factories to the ground to make clear that the garment industry is not as invincible as it seems. Citizens want action, and with an election coming later this year, they’ll have the government’s attention. Sensing this, Bangladeshi officials, after reportedly refusing rescue help from Britain, have promised to take action to prevent accidentslike this from happening again. Rana built his factory on swampland and then kept the building open after long cracks were discovered in its pillars. In a country as reliant on one industry as Bangladesh, regulations are just the first step; success depends on consistent enforcement.What does this mean for Western corporations? In a siuation like this, a company’s imperative is to get ahead of government, to make rather than simply accept new standards. But until government acts, don’t expect much from the private sector. Bangladesh isn’t the kind of country that will shame a company into compliance by tarring its reputation — it’s too small, and media coverage of its labor practices pales in comparison to China’s. Until pressure is added from outside Bangladesh, action inside the country won’t force change in the private sector. We’ve seen mass protest of labor practices in the past, most famously when sweatshops became a cause célèbre in the 1990s. It was mounting progress and pressure that changed work conditions then, thanks to non-governmental organizationss, celebrities and major American brands transforming consumer behavior in the United States.
BERLIN: Police offi fficcers watch supporters and members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) as they march during a demonstration on May Day. –ONLINE
Thousands rally against European austerity MADRID: Workers hit by lower living standards and record high unemployment staged May Day protests across Europe on Wednesday, hoping to persuade euro zone governments of the case for easing austerity measures and boosting growth. Thousands of protesters marched in Madrid, snaking up the Gran Via central shopping street, waving flags and carrying placards reading "austerity ruins and kills" and "reforms are robbery". "The future of Spain looks terrible, we're going backwards with this government," said former civil servant Alicia Candelas, 54, who has been without a job for two years. The Spanish economy has shrunk for seven consecutive quarters, and unemployment stands at a record 27 percent. There had "never been a May 1 with more reason to take to the streets", said Candido Mendez, head of UGT, one of two main unions that called on workers and the unemployed to join more than 80 demonstrations across the country.
Trains and ferries were canceled in Greece, and bank and hospital staff walked off the job after the main public and private sector unions there called a 24-hour strike, the latest in a string of protests in a country in its sixth year of recession. About 1,000 police officers were deployed in Athens, but the demonstration passed off peacefully, with about 5,000 striking workers, pensioners and students marching to parliament holding banners reading: "We won't become slaves, take to the streets!". Earlier, hundreds of protesters affiliated with the Communist KKE party raised their arms in a clenched fist salute on Syntagma Square, scene of violent clashes between police and protesters during previous protests. "The economy won't be resurrected by the bankrupt banks and the corrupt political system but by the workers and their fight," Alexis Tsipras, leader of the anti-bailout Syriza party, told protesters.
"Our message today is very clear: 'Enough with these policies which hurt people and make the poor poorer,'" said Ilias Iliopoulos, general secretary of public sector union ADEDY. Turnout in Greece was lower than last year when 100,000 marched on Syntagma Square. The May 1 holiday falls a few days before Greek Orthodox Easter, so public schools were shut and many workers have left for holidays. AUSTERITY VS GROWTH Four heavily indebted euro zone countries Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus - have received sovereign bailouts. With little or no sign of growth in the euro zone, the European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates to a record low 0.5 percent at its policy meeting on Thursday. But analysts say that alone will do little to lift the euro zone out of recession, and several governments are now openly discussing policies to try to boost growth. –AGENCIES
New audit manuals for DISCOs PEW concerned over ISLAMABAD: In order to improve efficiency and performance of power distribution companies in the country, the USAID with the assistance of DISCOs is introducing new modern mechanism of audit for DISCOs. In this regard the USAID Power Distribution Program organized a one-day workshop for the Board members and Finance Directors of Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and highlighted the success and rollout of the recently completed accounting manual. The accounting manual updates the DISCO’s legacy manual, which was last revised in the 1980’s, and provides DISCOs with a manual consistent with that of a best practices modern electric utility. It will act as a comprehensive finance and accounting resource which is fully compliant with all governmental, regulatory and International
Accounting Standards as applicable in Pakistan. Job descriptions, supported by documented detail, are included and will serve as a tool for training, performance reviews, evaluations and promotions. “Our main objective is to assist DISCOs in improving their performance and efficiency, therefore revised accounting manual shall help in achieving our objective” Craig VanDevelde, Chief of Party of the USAID Power Distribution Program said on the occasion “We are also working on reducing energy losses and assisting with installation of technical equipment in DISCOs which will bring improvement in revenue and reduction in losses”. “The DISCO can look forward to an accounting manual which will be a critical financial resource and help improve the DISCO’s financial reporting practices” Said Gary Bartlett, Finance expert of USAID Power Distribution Program.–ONLINE
receding gold, silver prices ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday expressed concern over receding gold and silver prices terming it a sign of shrinking economic activity on the global scale. Contracting economic activity is because of incoherent policies of western banks causing falling demand, is said. Sharpest decline in gold prices in 30 years is a turning point on the global economic map since financial crisis in 2008 after which investors lost interest in paper money and shifted towards gold, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President Pakistan Economy Watch.
He said that gold tripled in value in last three years before a recent downturn which is amazing as no government can print gold like their currencies. Western central banks have been pumping trillions of dollars into the system to overcome crisis but most of the money is being used for speculation which should have been used to finance projects to stimulate demand, he observed. Dr Murtaza Mughal said that sliding gold prices is seen by some as failure of global capitalist economy which can now only be sustained by China and other emerging markets. –ONLINE
Europe trade action against B’desh would have big impact BRUSSELS: If Bangladesh were to lose its preferential trading status with Europe over conditions in its garment factories, it could face hundreds of millions of dollars in duties and limits on access to its largest trading partner. EU officials said on Wednesday they hoped the threat of action would be enough to make Bangladesh change its laws to secure a market which formed over a quarter of the south Asian state's $40.5 billion annual exports in 2011. Any action would likely take more than a year. "This is about firing a shot across the bows of Bangladesh to get them to engage
on the issue," an EU official told Reuters. "We want to turn up the diplomatic heat on them and get them to sit down and discuss this with us." The European Union said late on Tuesday the 27-country bloc would reconsider its status unless Bangladesh improves labour safety standards after a garment factory collapse killed hundreds last week. The EU imported roughly 9.2 billion euros ($12.13 billion) of goods from Bangladesh last year, according to data from the EU's executive, the European Commission. Textiles and textile products from clothing to towels and bedding accounted for almost
93 percent of those goods. Bangladesh currently receives duty-free access to EU markets under a program known as the globalised scheme of preferences (GSP), designed to help developing countries grow through trade. The country has the most generous level of GSP, aimed at least-developed countries.If it were outside the GSP, it would face normal import duties, which are 12 percent for many clothing items ranging from men's jackets to women's blouses.It was the second warning this year from the European Commission. In January, the bloc called on Bangladesh to immediately act to
ensure its factories comply with International Labour Organization (ILO) standards, after a garment factory fire killed six employees. This followed a November fire at another garment factory that killed over 100 workers and prompted U.S. lawmakers to call for suspending their own GSP program with Bangladesh, but no action was taken. If the European Commission did suspend Bangladesh from the GSP scheme, it would not be the first time the bloc used access to trade preferences as leverage in dealing with countries. The Commission suspended
Myanmar from the scheme in 1997, prompted by concerns over forced labour. A positive report from the ILO last year resulted in the Commission proposing to readmit the country to GSP in September. In 2007, the Commission ended GSP to Belarus after an ILO report found the country failed to respect basic rights allowing trade unions. In the case of Bangladesh, the next possible step would be for the European Commission to launch an investigation into concerns over labour conditions in the country, after first consulting with European governments, a process that could take more than a year. –AGENCIES
CMYK THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
SRK heads to London in June for eighth surgery
Natalie Portman to play Lady Macbeth
MUMBAI: After much delay and prolonged pain, it has finally been decided that Shah Rukh Khan will go under the knife for his shoulder pain in London in June. The surgery that had been postponed for the completion of his shoot for Chennai Express will be his eighth, reported Bollywood Life, adding that his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders needed him as well, another reason for the delay. Apparently, the accident-prone Khan has also suffered injuries like three broken ribs, a twisted ankle, a broken right toe, and an injury to his left shoulder, a neck injury, a broken back bone and an injured left knee. The super busy actor had been suffering from shoulder pain since the time he was working on his superhero flick, RA.One (2010). Although he’d undergone treatment for it then, the persistent ache will now require surgery to be cured. But the actor has decided to get the operation only after he wraps up the shooting for Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express. Also, since he’s been keeping busy attending the matches played by his T20 team, he wants to schedule the surgery for later, at a more-convenient time. -SHOWBIZ DESK
LONDON: Actress Natalie Portman will star opposite Michael Fassbender in a new film adaptation of Shakespearean tragedy 'Macbeth'. The 'Black Swan' actress has signed on to star as the scheming wife of the Scottish nobleman in the film, reported Collider. The film which will be directed by 'Snowtown' director Justin Kurzel, is based on a script from Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff. Oscar-winner Portman is used to dark roles and should have no trouble playing ruthless Lady Macbeth, who goads her husband into killing the King of Scotland so she can become Queen, but suffers from terrible guilt after the event. The 31-year-old actress has recently wrapped filming with Fassbender on Terrence Malick's latest untitled project, and the pair were also due to co-star in western 'Jane Got A Gun' before the 'Shame' actor pulled out. Portman will next be seen in another Malick movie, 'Knight Of Cups', and in superhero sequel 'Thor: The Dark World'. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Imran Abbas opposite Bipasha in Bollywood’s Creature
Lollywood’s classic ﬁlm Aaina to be remade
LAHORE: Pakistani actor Imran Abbas who was to make his debut with Akshay Kumar in Bollywood movie ‘Boss’ didn’t work out and stepped out of the movie. According to a report in TOI, Finally Imran is making his debut with actor Bipasha Basu in a film titled ‘Creature’ being produced by Bhushan Kumar and directed by Vikram Bhatt. Imran who was in Mumbai recently said, "Yes it is true that I have signed the move "Creature" where I shall act with Bipashu Basu. The shooting dates are yet to be finalized. I was in Mumbai for the final discussion and shall be back again for the shooting of the movie very soon.” -SHOWBIZ DESK
LAHORE: These days many of Pakistan's super-hit classic films are being remade into tele films for the new generation. Now the classic movie Aaina is being remade, which will be directed by Sarmad Khoosat. The leads actors will be Faisal Qureshi and Saba Qamar they will play the roles of Nadeem and Rita, which were originally acted by Nadeem and Shabnam. Aaina is a love story of two hearts and two souls but from two different social classes, one being a daughter of a business tycoon i.e. Rita and one being a realistic, self-confident and a little bit arrogant poor young man. Hope the remake does justice to the originally film. Wish Sarmad Khoosat and team best of luck! -SHOWBIZ DESK
Gulzar opens up about his visit to Pakistan SHOWBIZ DESK MUMBAI: Gulzar Sahab's recent visit to Pakistan turned into a national controversy even though, in reality, it was a visit that was extremely personal and emotional. Born in Dina 78 years ago, he visited his native place for the first time 70 years later. Being an Urdu poet himself, he had kept in touch with many writers and poets from Pakistan and would often meet them outside India. Pakistani director and friend Hasan Zia invited him for the Aman Ki Asha Literary Festival at Karachi and he was only too happy to accept the invitation. Vishal Bhardwaj, who he also considers his son, went along as he wanted to
record a qawaali with Pakistani qawaals for his upcoming film. The artists were not being allowed to
come to India, so Gulzar sahab felt that their work should be represented in our films. It was decided that they would record the song in Lahore, then visit Dina and finally go to Karachi for the literary festival. There were many stories circulated on him cutting short his visit and returning to India, but Gulzar sahab never spoke. I left Pakistan with my father at the age of eight. During these 70 years, I had flown to Lahore only once earlier in 2004 on an emergency visa for four days to meet my mentor Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi sahab to see him in hospital But going to Dina, my birth place, was a desire I held for a long time. I had felt like going there many a times, but did not want to wash away the
Psy’s story immortalized in comic book SHOWBIZ DESK LONDON: The story of South Korean rap sensation Psy's ascent to global stardom with his megahit "Gangnam Style" has now been immortalized in full color and with appropriate dramatic flourishes in a comic book. "Fame:Psy", which went on sale in the United States and South Korea on Wednesday, focuses mainly on what went into making "Gangnam Style," which
catapulted the sunglassed singer with the garish jackets to global fame and became YouTube's most popular song ever with more than 1.5 billion hits. "Has he fallen from the sky? Has he risen from the earth?" the comic begins, with illustrations showing Psy in the suits he made famous in "Gangnam Style" and striking poses from his "Horse Riding Dance" descending from heaven and bursting through the earth. "It was the end of summer, 2012, when a little-known Asian rapper put his music video on YouTube. It exploded in popularity," continues the 26-page tale, from U.S. publisher Bluewater Productions and South Korean firm "able". "His stubby build and dynamic stage presence caught people's eyes. Psy's not your typical pop star". The comic, which also touches on the less happy parts of Psy's past such as being charged with possession of marijuana in 2002, includes a guide that shows readers how to do Psy's dance themselves. It ends with the release of Psy's second video, "Gentleman", last month. The video has racked up nearly 260 million YouTube hits after smashing the previous record of firstday views for songs, and hit fifth place on the Billboard Hot 100 last week.
images in which I had lived and always feared that just like other cities of the world, there would be changes even there. I am 78 and I knew that this would probably be my last chance and I may not be able to go there again. Doing that would complete the circle for me. After visited my birth place Dina, I felt sad and unfit. I did not want to be admitted in the hospital there and at such times you want to be back to the place where you know the medical set-up. Vishal and I decided to come back to Mumbai and not talk about it much to avoid it becoming a controversy. But by the time we reached Amritsar, everyone knew and it had become just that a controversy.
Kristen crowned the world's best-dressed woman
LOS ANGELES: Twilight actress Kristen Stewart beat off competition from Emma Watson, the Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham to top the Glamour Magazine's BestDressed 50 Women of 2013. The 23-year-old, who was recently voted the second most hated woman in Hollywood after Gwyneth Paltrow, has been crowned the world's best-dressed woman for the second year running. Stewart was praised for her "personal rock-chick style". She also picked up the honour of being named in the best-dressed couple with boyfriend Robert Pattinson who was named best-dressed man. "Harry Potter" star Emma Watson kept her second spot from last year with the Duchess of Cambridge being bumped up one place on the list from last year's fourth place. Kate Middleton was honoured for "taking maternity chic in her nude-pump-adorned stride". The final two places in the top five were taken by Spiderman star Emma Stone and country singing megastar Taylor Swift. Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Cole and Beyonce also made the top 10. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Naomi Campbell, Vladislav Doronin on a 'break' SHOWBIZ DESK NEW YORK: Supermodel Naomi Campbell and her Russian billionaire boyfriend Vladislav Doronin have reportedly taken a break from their relationship. Campbell, 42, has been with Doronin for around five years but it is believed their relationship has hit the rocks and they have decided to temporarily separate, reported New York Post. The pair were last seen together on Miami Beach in March. Doronin was seen most recently in the company of a beautiful blonde. "Naomi and Vlad have broken up, and
he's been out partying in New York. Naomi and Vlad have a complex relationship, and sometimes break up and make up. They spend a lot of time apart due to work commitments," a source said. Campbell has had numerous work commitments over the past few months with her modelling competition show 'The Face' proving to be a huge hit in the US with a UK version now currently taping which kept her apart from the hotel and property mogul. Despite their separation, the catwalk queen is expected to invite Doronin to her 43rd birthday party on May 22 in Ibiza.
Rihanna creating second fashion collection LONDON: R&B star Rihanna is these days busy working hard on her second fashion collection. The 'Umbrella' hitmaker, who debuted her fashion range at the London Fashion Week in February 2012, is ready with a new set of items for the upcoming autumn/winter season, reported Contactmusic. She reunited with her design partner Adam Selman on April 27 to finalise their latest pieces. "Me and my better half Adam Selman in design mode!! We went to Werk (work) on the upcoming Rihanna For River Island Autumn and Winter collections! No really, we took it there! Like it's not fair that you could," she posted on Twitter. Rihanna's first fashion collection, which featured belly-baring tops, sheer dresses and high-slit skirts, was released in March 2013. -SHOWBIZ DESK
The Reluctant Fundamentalist — Dreams are lost in the melting pot MANOHLA DARGIS t’s no wonder that the words Islamic and fundamentalism are often so tightly coupled in American minds: even our dictionaries bind them together. On the Merriam-Webster Web site, for instance, fundamentalism is partly defined as ‘a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles (Islamic fundamentalism).’ Against long odds, the director Mira Nair brings a novel about a long cafe conversation with a possible terrorist, to the big screen. In his slim 2007 novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” the Pakistan-born writer Mohsin Hamid takes these two words and rubs them together until they throw off intellectual sparks. Written as a monologue, it is a somewhat claustrophobic blurt of a book that, given world events, continues to feel eerily timely. The monologue is delivered by Changez, a young Pakistani university lecturer grievously, possibly violently disenchanted with the United States, to an unnamed American who may be some kind of United States operative. Seated in a Lahore restaurant,
Changez essentially keeps the mystery man (and the reader) captive with his reminiscences of his American dreams and disappointments both in work and with a wealthy melancholic woman, who, rather like her country, let him down. Comparing books to the movies made of them isn’t always necessary or productive, but it’s instructive when the results are as thudding crude as Mira Nair’s take on “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Blunt where the novel is subtle, it follows its source in outline, with Changez (a fine Riz Ahmed) narrating his tale to the stranger, here a journalist with a preposterous name, Bobby Lincoln (Liev Schreiber), and a fairly clear-cut relationship with the American government: he’s seeking information about a kidnapped American. Now, when the men sit down together they are in the gun sights of a C.I.A. team led by an operative, Ludlow Cooper (Martin Donovan), who’s keeping up a second conversation with Lincoln through an earpiece and cellphone calls. The agents, their guns, the sweat pouring off them, the urgency of their voices and gestures — an urgency mirrored by the restless camerawork, brusque edits and percussive music —
give these scenes the flavor of a thriller. They have no parallel in the book, in which a glint of metal from inside a man’s jacket telegraphs potential violence to come. Ms. Nair’s decision to pump up Mr. Hamid’s story with genre elements partly registers as a pragmatic commercial decision, as a way to package and sell ideas about American power and subaltern identities. And there’s no question that the images and sounds of guns being cocked, as well as black
S.U.V.’s hurtling heavily armed American agents through dusty Pakistani streets, add evocative jolts to the movie and its advertising. Yet by literalizing the idea of American military aggression and all that it implies Ms. Nair doesn’t just invest Mr. Hamid’s story with Hollywoodstyle beats, she also completely drains it of ambiguity. As in the novel, the movie follows Changez after he graduates from Princeton, finds success working for a company that
estimates the value of other firms (and shuts down the failing ones) and falls in love with Erica (a miscast Kate Hudson). After Sept. 11, though, he begins to see himself a stranger in a strange land, and alienated from America and its conquering (call it fundamentalist) capitalism. “In this constant striving to realize a financial future,” he says in the book, “no thought was given to the critical personal and political issues that affect one’s emotional present.” More provocatively, in a pivotal scene midway through the novel, Changez (Genghis in Urdu) also says that he smiled when he watched images of the twin towers collapsing on Sept. 11. “Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased.” He was, Changez continues, caught up in “the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees.” The shock of that smile and its meaning is this the admission of an ordinary, aggrieved man or a terrorist? Ms. Nair, by contrast, does what she often does in her movies: working from a screenplay by William Wheeler, she delivers a lesson in multiculturalism, turning a difficult,
fairly acid story into an occasion for some finger-wagging. As usual, she ornaments her didacticism with some attractive trim: there is handsome cinematography from Declan Quinn, a vivid palette and some memorable music, notably a thrillingly beautiful Sufi song from Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad. For eight minutes, these extraordinary singers transport you even as Ms. Nair insistently, unfortunately, brings you back to earth by cutting between their performance and images of an American being kidnapped in Lahore. The editing implies links where none seem to exist, but the whole thing certainly sounds and looks suggestively “exotic.” The film contains documentary images of the Sept. 11 attacks on the twin towers as well as faked gun and riot violence. Directed by Mira Nair; written by William Wheeler, based on a screen story by Mohsin Hamid and Ami Boghani and the novel by Mr. Hamid; director of photography, Declan Quinn; edited by Shimit Amin; music by Michael Andrews; production design by Michael Carlin; costumes by Arjun Bhasin; produced by Lydia Pilcher; released by IFC Films. This film is not rated.
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
MAY 02, 2013
LDI operators fined billions for colluding against competition SAHTAK BALOCH ISLAMABAD: On finding that all 14 Long Distance International (LDI) operators in Pakistan had violated the Competition Act, 2010, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has finally annulled the International Clearing House (ICH) Agreement and imposed a multibillion-rupee penalty on all of them. Just three — PTCL, Worldcall and Telecard — have been fined Rs 8.309 billion, Rs 534 million and Rs 189 million respectively. A bench of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) comprising Chairperson Ms
Rahat Kaunain Hassan, Member Dr. Joseph Wilson and Member Shehzad Ansar, in the order passed on April 30, 2013 has annulled the International Clearing House (ICH) Agreement with all fourteen LDI operators and has imposed a penalty of 7.5 per cent of annual turnover of each LDI. The bench referred to the data furnished by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which shows that the volume of incoming calls as on September 2012 before the ICH Agreement was 1.9 billion minutes, which decreased to 579 million minutes in February 2013 after the ICH was established.
The bench held that the facts and figures available highlight the pernicious nature of the ICH arrangement, its harmful effects on the telecom sector, consumers and the economy in general, which it said it couldn't condone. The order states that the ICH arrangement reduces choice, forecloses the market, removes incentive for better quality of service, removes incentives for investments in improvement of infrastructure, reduces the size of the market and market players, confers anticompetitive advantages and becomes a clear threat to consumer welfare in
total negation of spirit of Telecom Deregulation Policy, 2003 apart from the provisions of the Competition Act. In fact, it said, the ICH Agreement "squandered any gains that we have made in the telecom sector till now gains that have accrued precisely because of a focus on competition". LDI Operators have been directed to cease and desist from carrying such prohibited practices and not make any other agreement of similar nature restricting competition and PTA has been advised to ensure restoration of competition amongst the LDI operators, as it existed prior to the ICH Agreement.
According to the order of CCP, the LDI operators by entering into the ICH Agreement have colluded to fix prices of international incoming telephony, close down competing networks and divide revenues among themselves without any competition. This behaviour amounts to hard-core cartelization, which is strictly prohibited under Section 4 of the Act and is the most pernicious anticompetitive activity possible. Through this cartelisation, the LDI operators have not only eliminated competition in the market for international incoming telephony but have also made it impossible for new entrants to
Benazir was not killed by TTP: Imran
Senate to discuss action against mush today ISLAMABAD: The 93rd session of the Senate will be held today (Thursday) with Senator Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari in the chair. The session has been summoned on the requisition of opposition which bears signatures of 34 senators from all the opposition parties. The matters related to non implementation of senate resolution on prosecution of former President Pervez Musharraf under treason act and declaring his farmhouse sub jail instead of keeping him in jail will be raised in this session. Leader of the house Farooq H Naik met chairman senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari in parliament house to discuss the matters pertaining to proceedings of the house. –AGENCIES
5.7 quake strikes northwest areas ISLAMABAD: A shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 struck northwest Pakistan on Thursday, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was only 10 kms (six miles) deep and struck at 6:57 GMT (2.57 a.m. ET) about 140 km (85 miles) northeast of Sialkot in Pakistan, said the USGS. Powerful, shallow quakes are capable of causing extensive damage. Pakistan bore the brunt of a powerful quake centered in Iran last month, killing at least 35 people in Pakistan and destroying hundreds of houses. –AGENCIES
8 Pakistanis detained on Nepal border MAHARAJGANJ: Eight people, including two women and four children, from Pakistan were detained Wednesday while they were trying to enter India through the Nepal border, reports PTI. They were stopped by Sashastra Seema Bal at Sonauli in Maharajganj district for checking but failed to produce documents about their identity, according to SSB sources. During questioning, one of them claimed that several years ago they had crossed over to Pakistan and had got married and settled there. Now they were trying to return home, sources said. –MONITORING DESK
Four militants killed in Orakzai Agency ORAKZAI AGENCY: At least four militants were killed during a bombardment of Jet fighters here on Wednesday. Media reports said that Jet fighters destroyed three hideouts while killing four miscreants in upper Orakzai Agency. Security forces cordoned off the area and started search operation against the militants sources added. –ONLINE
Plane carrying Pakistani diplomats crashes in US WASHING TON: A Pakistani defense attaché and a diplomat were the passengers of a plane that crashed in the United States. The small aircraft, carrying attaché Haseeb Paracha and Shujaat Rathor, crashed here due to unknown reasons. Report said the incident occurred in West Virginia, resulting in minor injuries to both the dignitaries. It said both the Pakistani nationals were discharged from the hospital after necessary treatment. –ONLINE
Naval oﬃcer shot dead in karachi KARACHI: A Navy sailor was shot and killed in Kharadar on Wednesday. Zahid Iqbal was targeted when he was standing beside a shoe-maker near Edhi head office. He is the second official of Pakistan Navy killed this year. Lt. Commander Azeem of Pakistan Navy was also shot and wounded near Karachi Port in February, and later succumbed to his wounds after remaining in coma for couple of days. –ONLINE
enter the market and pose any competitive pressure. During the proceedings the LDI operators pleaded that they made the ICH Agreement on the directives of the Ministry of Information Technology (MOIT) and PTA. However, in view of the settled principle of law that a policy directive cannot override or prevail on express provisions of the statute passed by the legislature, the bench held that no protection or immunity can be sought from the application of the Competition Act by the undertakings under the umbrella of such a policy directive.
Wants to end operation in Balochistan
KARACHI: Rangers and policemen baton-charging people during a search after armed clashes between two groups over the occupation of land, at Old Sabzi Mandi. –ONLINE
Poor law and order
Britain favours no party in Pakistan
PM clips Interior Ministry’s wings
OUR STAFF REPORTER
Crises Management Cell placed at ECP’s disposal
OUR STAFF REPORTER
I SL AM ABAD: Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has decided to place the National Crises Management Cell (NCMC)‚ presently working under the Ministry of Interior‚ at the disposal of Election Commission of Pakistan. This decision was taken by the Prime Minister to allay concerns raised by the ECP regarding the law and order situation and is consistent with its policy to assist the ECP in the conduct of General Elections in free and fair manner. The NCMC is repository of various assets of the country which include representatives of intelligence agencies and specialized services. Alluding to recent tragic incidents in various parts of the country as a result of bomb blasts and terrorists' attacks‚ the Prime Minister termed them as unfortunate and expressed concern over the prevailing law and order situation. The Prime Minister reiterated the resolve to leave no stone unturned for providing security to political leaders and candidates and maintenance of law and order in the country. The Prime Minister said though maintenance of law and order is a provincial subject‚ the federal government has been extending all possible assistance to the provincial governments for beefing up their capacities in this regard. The caretaker government having inherited the over decade old law and
order problem‚ re-affirmed its commitment to take all that it takes to defeat the nefarious designs of those who threaten the life‚ property and honour of the people of Pakistan. The PM decided to use all available resources including deployment of the Army and Civil Armed Forces and permitted targeted operations in some parts of the country to flush out terrorists and anti-social elements. The PM who is personally monitoring the situation is in touch with the provincial governments as well as the Federal Authorities. Besides‚ necessary directions are being issued to take remedial measures as and when deemed necessary. The caretaker government valued the efforts being made by the ECP in conducting General Election in the country and reiterated its commitment to continue working harmoniously for achieving a conducive environment with the objective of holding free‚ fair and transparent elections in the country.
ISL AM ABAD: British High Commissioner Adam Thomson has said the British government does not favour any political party in Pakistan. Talking to reporters here Wednesday‚ he hoped that the recent terrorist incidents will not affect general elections. He expressed the confidence that state institutions will ensure free and fair general elections in Pakistan. Thomson said the delay in elections will deem victory of the terrorists. He expressed his solidarity with all the terror hit political parties and their workers. Adam said on the invitation from Pakistani government, British High Commission has announced the establishment of UK Election Observation Mission. The Mission will observe Pakistan’s Elections on 11 May. Consisting of 25 observers, it will be one of the largest international observation teams and will be deployed throughout Pakistan. The UK Election Observation Mission is in addition to both the UK’s support for the EU Election Observation Mission and our part-funding of the Commonwealth’s own election observers. To complement the EU, the UK Mission will observe the electoral process including the work of the administration, campaigning activities, the conduct of the media, the process of voting and counting, and the announcement of the results. He said the UK firmly believes that democratic continuity is not only vital for Pakistan's own well-being, but is also the key to stronger relations.
LONDON: In a startling claim, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan has said that former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was not killed by the Taliban. In an interview with British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, the PTI chief said Bhutto had been “clearly killed by people worried she was going to come into power”. He did not say whether his claim was based on any concrete evidence that he was privy to. The Benazir Bhutto murder case is currently underway in an antiterrorist court in Rawalpindi. Khan’s claims contradicts the investigations done by a UN commission as well as Britain’s Scotland Yard Police. Investigators are currently questioning former military ruler and president General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf was was heading the country at the time of her assassination. Musharraf has repeatedly denied his involvement and has instead blamed the slain leader for ignoring security warnings by the then regime. Agencies add: Imran Khan said his party after coming into power would stop military operation in Balochistan as he believes that bullet is not solution to any problem.
Speaking at a public rally in Loralai, he said the PTI would transform the country into a welfare state where justice would be dispensed without any discrimination. He said that the local bodies’ election would be held in the country as soon as possible. “We would not allocate development funds to any MNA or MPA but problems would be resolved through local bodies,” he said. The PTI chairman said that the biggest issue was terrorism, which would be dealt with mutual consultation. He said that the PTI would implement the same educational curriculum throughout the country. He said that the people would lay foundation stone of New Pakistan on May 11. He asked the youth to come out from their homes on election day and ensure to cast their vote.
India appeals again for Sarabjit’s release OUR STAFF REPORTERS ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: The Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal Wednesday met the Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and requested Islamabad to immediately release Sarabjit Singh on humanitarian and sympathetic grounds. Alternatively, India has also proposed that Sarabjit Singh be sent to a third country for proper medical treatment, a Foreign Ministry statement said, adding that "this is not the time for invoking legal reasons for not taking the right steps to save a human life." (Read MEA's full statement) Meanwhile, Sarabjit's family, which
was in Pakistan to visit him, returned to India. They had been given emergency visas by Pakistan to visit the Indian death row prisoner who is in a coma and battling for life at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital, after he was brutally attacked by fellow prisoners last week. Doctors attending Sarabjit said Sarabjit's condition had deteriorated but denied reports that he was brain dead. His sister, Dalbir Kaur said, "He is still alive. His body parts show some movement. I have doubts about the treatment being given to Sarabjit in Pakistan. Please save him. Bring him back to India for treatment. Take him abroad (for treatment). Please send Indian doctors to examine his condition. Just do something."
US asks India, Pakistan to curb nuke plans MOMO BAIG WASHINGTON: Expressing concern over the continuing buildup of nuclear weapons in South Asia, the US has asked India and Pakistan to restrain their atomic and missile programmes and play a positive role in the global non-proliferation community. "The United States remains deeply concerned by the dangers posed by the continuing buildup of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems in South Asia," Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman said in his address to the 2015 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons in Geneva on Tuesday. "Consistent with our shared vision of a world
without nuclear weapons, the United States has repeatedly called on India and Pakistan to restrain their nuclear and missile programmes; end the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons; and support the commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty," he said. "In that regard, it is with concern and deep disappointment that we note Pakistan's reluctance to support the start of such negotiations," the US official said. "We would welcome meaningful trust and confidencebuilding between these nuclear-armed states; we must find ways to reduce regional tensions and diminish the risk that nuclear weapons could be used, either intentionally or accidentally, in a crisis," he said. The United States, he said continues to encourage both
India and Pakistan to play a positive role in the global non-proliferation community and take steps to prevent proliferation, including bringing their strategic trade controls in line with the guidelines of the multilateral supplier regimes. "We support, in a phased manner, India's goal of joining the four multilateral export control regimes," he said, adding that the US remains cognizant of its non-proliferation commitments and objectives when considering how to conduct its bilateral relations with any country. "Our activities with both India and Pakistan continue to be consistent with our NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) obligations and with our commitment as members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group," Countryman said according to a copy of the speech provided here.
India alerts army over Pak N-warheads NEW DELHI: Indian Defence Minister AK Antony Wednesday said the capability of Pakistani Taliban to strike at will at strategic targets is "worrisome." Addressing the Unified Commanders' Conference, he said that military leadership should factor in the growing stock of Pakistani nuclear weapons to evolve an overall strategy towards country's western neighbour. "The growing nuclear stock of Pakistan needs to be factored in our overall strategy towards our western neighbour," he said. In recent times, Taliban militants in Pakistan have launched several attacks on military and police targets killing scores of people including civilians. The Defence Minister said financial constraints faced by the Government would not be allowed to affect the national security but the onus lies collectively on all of us to make the optimum use of the financial resources with all the honesty, transparency and fairness. Dwelling at length on the recent changes in procurement procedures, Antony said the objective is to bring about greater efficiency in the procurement process and to strengthen the defence manufacturing base in the country. The Defence Minister said the contemporary concept of security encompasses not merely military threats, but also cyber attacks, insurgencies, organised trans-border crimes, pandemics and contingencies of natural disasters. –SUSHANT SAREEN
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.
CMYK THURSDAY, MAY 02, 2013
Dropped Afridi hopes to make a comeback OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE: Struggling all-rounder Shahid Afridi vowed Wednesday to work hard to return to the Pakistan team after being axed from the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy. “Being in and out is a one-off thing. It happens to every player and I will soon stage a comeback because I believe in hard work and performance, so I don't want to be bitter,” Afridi said. The bighitting all-rounder was earlier dropped for the one-day series against India in December-January before returning for the five one-dayers against South Africa in March. He failed to get a single wicket in the 3-2 defeat to the Proteas but was the second top run-scorer with 126 behind Misbahul Haq on 227. “I am still better than most,” said Afridi. Asked about reports in Pakistani media blaming captain Misbah for his ousting, Afridi said: “It's captain’s will if he wants a player or not but I wish him and the team the best of luck for the Champions Trophy.” Afridi said he wanted to play cricket with pride and respect. “I know I have ample cricket left in me and I can represent Pakistan for the next
RIO DE JANEIRO: Cyclists on Wednesday protest against the death of colleague Pedro Ncolay after he was struck in Ipanema by a bus. Nicolay was killed Tuesday during a training session on Vieira Souto avenue, a popular cycling practise location. –AGENCIES
Bailey becomes Australia vice-captain for Champions Trophy SY DN EY: George Bailey was Wednesday handed the vice-captaincy of Australia's squad for their defence of the Champions Trophy, while promising fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile won a call-up. The eight-nation tournament starts in England next month with Bailey getting the nod as Michael Clarke's number two in place of Shane Watson. Watson is in the 15-man squad but opted to stand aside as vice skipper to focus on his batting and bowling, in the same way he did with the Test side for the upcoming Ashes tour of England. “Selectors have been impressed with George's leadership when he stepped in to guide the ODI team in Michael's absence last summer and leadership of the T20 team over the past two seasons,” national selector John Inverarity said. “Given George's experience and credentials, he was viewed as the ideal person for the role.” There were few surprises in the squad with Inverarity previously announcing that players chosen to represent Australia A in their England tour that will run at the same time as the Champions Trophy would not be considered. This ruled out Brad Haddin, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird. But several of the Ashes squad are on the team, including Clarke, Watson, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Matt Wade, Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner. Paceman Mitchell Johnson was also selected and will have a point to prove after being left out of the Ashes reckoning. West Australian fast bowler Nathan CoulterNile also made the grade and will be in contention for his ODI debut in the tournament. “Nathan Coulter-Nile is an emerging cricketer as a fast-medium bowler and explosive lower-order
batsman,” said Inverarity. “He is also one of the finest fieldsmen in Australian cricket and the energy he brings to his game is impressive. "While Nathan has played a T20 international for Australia, we are looking forward to seeing him take his very good domestic limited overs form onto the world stage.” Australia won the Champions Trophy in India in 2006 and South Africa in 2009 and starts this year's campaign against England on June 8, with group fixtures against New Zealand and Sri Lanka to follow before the semi-finals. “As the two-time defending champion, the squad has been selected with the aim of winning the tournament, while also keeping the 2015 ICC World Cup firmly in mind,” said Inverarity. Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vicecapt), David Warner, Shane Watson, Phil Hughes, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty. –AGENCIES
ITF rejects Pakistan appeal over Davis Cup elimination OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) have rejected Pakistan's appeal against the awarding of their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group II tie to New Zealand, the governing body said on Wednesday. Designated hosts Pakistan were disqualified from last month's Davis Cup tie, played in Myanmar because of security concerns, after referee Ashita Ajigala ruled that the grass court in Yangon had become unplayable and dangerous. The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) appealed against the ruling but the ITF's Davis Cup Committee upheld the Sri Lankan referee's decision at a meeting on Tuesday. "It was the view of the Committee that the Pakistan Tennis Federation did not organise the tie to the required standards, notably with regard to the quality of the two available courts," the ITF said in a statement. The tie was played in Myanmar after New Zealand refused to visit Pakistan due to safety concerns. "The Committee noted that the poor quality of the original match court led the Referee to designate the practice court as the match court," the ITF statement read. "Following the deterioration of the second court, specifically during the second match, the Referee determined that this court was now unplayable and a risk to player safety. "The Referee also deemed that the court would not become playable in the next 24 hours due to its poor condition, and awarded the tie to New Zealand." The PTF could still appeal to the ITF Board of Directors, the statement added.
Japan, France athletics federations sign partnership accord TOKYO: The Japanese and French athletics federations signed a partnership agreement Wednesday to cooperate in boosting their competitive level as they head toward the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Under the indefinite agreement, the two sides will exchange information on athlete development, organise event-by-event joint training sessions, share training camps and promote exchanges of coaches and junior athletes. The agreement was signed in Tokyo by Yohei Kono, president of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, and French Athletic Federation vice president Pierre Weiss. Japan can host training camps for French athletes ahead of next year's world athletics championships in Beijing, while Japanese athletes can train in France before they compete in Europe, Kono told a news conference. Weiss said there was a plan to have Japanese athletes train in Paris for a few weeks with
French athletes after the Japanese national championships in June, ahead of the world championships in Moscow in August. "For us, France is a perfect partner as French men excel in the 100m and 200m sprints," Kono said, citing French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre who in 2010 became the first white European to run 100m under 10 seconds. Kono also cited Renaud Lavillenie, who won the men's pole vault gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, as an example of the French federation's "excellent athlete development". Weiss said: "There is a lot to learn from Japanese athletes, especially marathon runners whose levels are extremely high." Mitsugi Ogata, senior managing director of the Japanese federation, said Japan could learn a lot from France. "Frankly speaking, Japan's levels are quite low. We will count on French help first of all and eventually catch up with them to build an equal partnership," he said. –AGENCIES
French Athletic Federation vice president Pierre Weiss (R) shakes hands with Yohei Kono, president of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations as they exchange documents of their agreement in Tokyo on Wednesday. –AGENCIES
few years. It's not unusual that players get dropped but I appeal to my fans to pray for me,” he said. Afridi, who has 7,201 runs and 348 wickets in 354 one-days, defended his lack of wickets in one-day internationals. “When I was taking wickets, people used to say that I am not scoring runs and now it's the other way round,” he said. “I know where to improve and I will show improvement soon. “I will never become a burden on the team and walk away if I am not up to the mark,” said Afridi who will play Twenty20 for English county Hampshire in July. Pakistan's chief selector Iqbal Qasim said Afridi's career was not ended. “We don't believe that a dropped player is over the hill. Afridi's career is not over, he can stage a comeback by performing well at the domestic level like all other players,” Qasim said on Monday. Pakistan will attend a tune-up camp in Abbottabad from Friday before heading to Britain, where they will warm up against Scotland and Ireland before featuring in the eightnation Champions Trophy in England from June 6-23.
Olympic gold medallist Harrison retires from boxing LONDON: Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison said Wednesday he was retiring from professional boxing following his latest loss. The 41-yearold Briton suffered a first round knockout by Deontay Wilder of the United States in Sheffield, northern England, on Saturday. "There are only so many times you can fall before it becomes foolhardy to continue," said Harrison, whose professional career failed to build on the promise he showed as an amateur boxer. "I've fallen a lot, but winning the (world) heavyweight title was a destination I really wanted to get to. Coming back from adversity has been synonymous with my life. "I've done well to turn my life around, but sadly my dream to be a legitimate world champion will be unrealised," added Harrison, in a statement headlined 'I'm retiring' on his official website. "Our life is a one-time deal, no rehearsals, so the regrets I have, I live with and accept...I got focused a little late in life, so I've had to learn some tough lessons along the way," he said. He won his first 19 bouts without much fuss although he was already starting to attract negative headlines for the quality of opposition he was facing. Harrison became the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal in the super-heavyweight category at the 2000 Games in Sydney and, as a pro, did challenge for a world title. But a
series of uninspiring contests led to him acquiring the unflattering nickname of 'Fraudley' after he signed a controversial seven-figure contract with the BBC, a publicly funded-broadcaster after turning pro. The high point of a professional career featuring 31 wins and seven defeats came when he challenged compatriot David Haye for the WBA world heavyweight title in November 2010 only to be stopped in the third round. It appeared Harrison's career was at an end following a first round defeat by another British heavyweight, David Price, in October last year but he kept going as a result of winning the Prizefighter competition, a made for television tournament for professional boxers. However, Saturday's loss was too much for even Harrison to ignore and his retirement announcement is likely to spark feelings of relief, as much as sadness, within the British boxing community. "I believed if I was mentally and physically right, I could figure these young guns out. Saturday was my final chance to prove it," Harrison said. "The thing that pulled me up was pride, so I wanted a chance to continue and go out on my shield. It was not to be."
Injured Bolt to skip Jamaica meeting KINGSTON: Six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt has been ruled out of Saturday's Jamaica International Invitational meeting because of a slight hamstring strain, his agent said on Tuesday. The 100 and 200 metres world record holder felt tightness in training over the weekend and in consultation with Coach Glen Mills decided not to risk anything at this early stage of the season, agent Ricky Simms told Reuters. "It's a small strain and he's hoping to be OK for next week but you know it's day by day ... maybe for the two or three days. It just a problem of sprinting," Simms said in a telephone interview. Asked if the injury was serious, Simms replied: "No. He hopes to be running in Cayman by next week, so it's what you call a grade one strain, which is you can't sprint, but you can walk OK. He's not limping or anything." Bolt was scheduled to run his first 200 metres of the season against Jamaican Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir and American Wallace Spearmon in the meeting. His next scheduled race is a 100 metres in the May 8 Cayman Islands meeting. "I am disappointed to miss the Kingston meet as I love running in front of my home crowd in Jamaica," Bolt said in a statement. "I'm told it is only a grade one strain so hopefully I will be OK soon." Bolt started his season in style on March 31 on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach with a 14.42 seconds clocking over 150 metres on the purpose-built track. –AGENCIES
Chelsea maintain form as marathon end nears UEFA Europa League PARIS: Chelsea will be looking to keep their hopes alive of their marathon season ending with a trophy as Rafael Benitez's men host FC Basel in their Europa League semifinal second leg clash at Stamford Bridge on Thursday (today). The English Premier League outfit lead 2-1 from last week's semifinal, first leg in Switzerland and need only avoid defeat in west London to be assured of a place in the May 15 final in Amsterdam. But the games are coming thick and fast for the Pensioners who must be running on fumes having already played an
incredible 63 times this season. No other team has played in as many competitions as Chelsea, with one off matches such as the English Community Shield and European Super Cup added to the World Club Championship, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup, as well as their Premier League bread and butter, making up an epic campaign. If they get past Basel, they'll finish the season on 69 matches. Benitez has done his best to keep things fresh by rotating certain players, yet six of his squads have made at least 55 appearances, and that's not including internationals. While outside observers may have
been baffled by Benitez's rotation policy, which has included such club stalwarts as Frank Lampard and John Terry, no-one could deny that Chelsea's players have had a most demanding schedule. In the last month they played 10 times, an average of a game every three days. While they remain favourites to defeat the Swiss side, who have already progressed further in European competition than ever before, Chelsea must surely be feeling the effects of their gruelling programme. And they have made no secret of the fact that the Europa League is secondary to their prime objective of finishing in the Premier
League's top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season. In the six days following the visit of Basel, Chelsea must travel to Manchester United and then host Tottenham Hotspur in two crucial league fixtures that could determine their Champions League qualification. It means they could be forgiven for keeping more than just one eye on those fixtures when Basel are in town. On Sunday they looked comfortable in beating Swansea 2-0 at home, although Lampard was quick to point out that result was just a means to an end. "What's more important is for the club to
qualify for next season's Champions League, and we've also got a Europa League final to try to get to and win," he told the club's website chelseafc.com. "If we can keep our rhythm with the way we're playing and stay positive, the big games that are coming we need to try and win. "If we don't it will go to the wire, but I believe we've got the strongminded players to go and do it." While Chelsea may be feeling the pressure, Basel are merely enjoying the ride, according to goalkeeper Yann Sommer. "Next to trying to win the domestic league title again, the Europa League is like a dessert for us, which we just wanted to enjoy all the
way through," he told uefa.com. Whoever gets to the final it will be their first time, just as is the case for the two sides competing in the other semi-final, Fenerbahce and Benfica. It means there is sure to be a new name on the Europa League trophy this season. Not that all the players are virgins to this competition. Benfica's attacking midfielder Eduardo Salvio has already won the Europa League twice before with Atletico Madrid. But if he is to make it a hat-trick, the Portuguese league leaders must overcome a 1-0 deficit from last week's first leg in Istanbul when they host the Turks at Lisbon's Estadio da Luz. –AGENCIES
Published on May 1, 2013