TWO ELECTION COMMISSIONS IN NA-41 PG I 03 Jamadi-us-Saani 25, 1434
mONDAy mAy 06, 2013
THE EVERYDAY TRAFFIC MESS IN PAKISTAN
SARABJIT SAGA: GLORIFYING A TERRORIST
– IMDAD HUSSAIN
– FARAKH SHAHZAD
PG I 06
PG I 07
Vol, VI, No. 17
TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 38 LOW: 21 Partly sunny and summerlike
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
Shut Karachi mourns killings
Bombers go on wreaking havoc
Grenades hurled at PTI, PML-N, NP, JUI offices 4 killed in Sibbi attack
OUR STAFF REPORTERS
HYDERABAD: Soldiers in their armoured vehicles patrol the city ahead of elections. — ONLINE
E-ticket service introduced for voters
SNEAK PEEK Private housing societies looting people in E-11 The slackness of the Capital Development Authority towards impeding unauthorised development work in Sector E-11 have provided an opportunity to some private housing societies for looting the people by launching their residential schemes. This is being done without getting any No objection Certificate (NOC) from the civic body. Page 02
70 oﬃcials campaigning in 25 constituencies Observers, associated with the Free and Fair Election Network, reported that a total of 70 government officials participating in political activities in 25 constituencies across the country. About 36 officials were seen seeking votes for different candidates in 12 constituencies, while another 17 officials were observed participating in political rallies in 12 different constituencies. Page 04
Israel strikes Syria again, rocking Damascus Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, a Western intelligence source said, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky. Page 08
Song critical of Pakistani generals blocked online A Pakistani band with a reputation for satirizing the country’s military may have finally gone too far. About two weeks ago, the band, Beygairat Brigade, released a song that criticizes generals even more directly than their previous offering, which became a viral video hit when it was released two years ago. But over the past 10 days, the video of the song, ‘Dhinak Dhinak,’ has been mysteriously blocked in Pakistan on Vimeo, a video-sharing Web site. Page 10
Aamir Atlas becomes Asian squash champion Pakistan’s Aamir Atlas Khan brushed aside Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Mezayan in three sets to become the first Pakistani in 14 years to win the Asian Squash Championship on Sunday at the Islamabad Sport Complex. Aamir triumphed over Al Mezayan after an impressive performance with figures of 11-9, 11-3, 11-8. Speaking to media after the final, Aamir said the victory was the result of his hard work and he was happy to have won a title for Pakistan. Page 11
90,000 fake ballot papers seized in Dir
Cell being set up for unofficial poll results
LOWER DIR: Police on Sunday seized over 90,000 fake ballot papers papers a vehicle in Chakdara area of Lower Dir. DIG Malakand range Obaidullah Khan said the police team recovered and confiscated the National Assembly ballot papers during the search of a vehicle and that the papers were not carrying the seal of the Election Commission of Pakistan and appeared to be fake. Two persons were also taken into custody and were booked under sections 419, 420 , 468 and 471 of the PPC. The fake ballot papers were meant for NA-34 constituency of Lower Dir. Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed also confirmed the police report. Hailing the police team that had recovered the fake ballot papers, he said the preparation and transportation of the ballot papers was being carried out under the Army’s supervision to minimise risk of ballots leakage and fake voting. He added that the use of fake ballot papers was curtailed and those who were using them should no longer dream of using them. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has started E-Ticket Service enabling the voters to get information about their polling station and voting serial number by just sending SMS on 8300. An ECP official said the service would be inaugurated on Monday. He said a voter can inquire about
his serial number in voter’s list, polling station and constituency in which he is enrolled as voter by sending his Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) number (without dash) to 8300 in reply, the Election Commission will send him block code, voter list’s serial number, constituency number and location of his polling station (in which he is required to caste the vote). He said the new service will save time of the voters and make irrelevant to get paper chit from the polling camps established by the candidates outside polling stations. He reminded that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already banned establishing polling camps near polling stations. He said the Election Commission is charging Rs 2 per message. Regarding ballot papers, he said the printing is being completed later Sunday and from Monday, its bulk distribution will begin. The ECP also plans set up a Special Election Cell this week for prompt announcement of unofficial election results. As per media reports, the Commission will set up a special election cell for announcing unofficial results immediately after receiving them from the returning officers. The presiding officers will announce election results of their respective constituency in the presence of polling agents and also display it at a prominent place. –AGENCIES
KARACHI/QUETTA: As Karachi remained shut on the call of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to protest attacks on it election offices, the bombers continued to disrupt political activities and carried out five attacks in Sibbi, Quetta, Mardan and Mach. At least four people were killed when militants attacked the convoy of independent candidate Sardar Sarfaraz Domki in Sibbi, Balochistan on Sunday evening. Police said independent candidate for PB-21 Sardar Sarfaraz Domki and Dostain Domki candidate for NA 265 were on a campaign rally in Karak area of Sibbi when their convoy came under attack. Police said one of the assailants was killed and another was injured. However, three security guards of Domki were killed. Police said the injured were shifted to civil hospital Sibi for medical treatment. In the second incident, militants hurled a hand grenade at the office of Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam (Ideological) in Deba area of Quetta. Police said two people were injured in the attack, the assailants however managed to escape. In another incident, at least three persons were injured in a handgrenade attack near an election office of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) in Fazalabad area of Mardan. Rescue and officials reached the site of attack. Police sources said unknown motorcycle-riding attackers lobbed a hand-grenade near the election office
Amnesty for ensuring prisoners safety LUCKNOW: Amnesty Sunday International demanded that India and Pakistan must take prompt steps to enhance security for prisoners lodged in jails following jail attacks in both countries. In an official statement, Amnesty said, "Indian authorities should take immediate steps to protect Pakistani prisoners in various jails and ensure that such attacks do not recur." "Both Indian and Pakistani authorities must take prompt and concrete steps," said Shashikumar Velath. Authorities estimate that there are around 535 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails and 270 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails. Relatives and lawyers often complain that Indian and Pakistani authorities do not provide them with adequate access to these prisoners. –AGENCIES
of the PTI where the party’s candidate from NA-10, Rehmanullah, was holding a corner meeting and that the injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. At least seven people were injured when militants attacked the offices of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and National Party in Balochistan on Sunday. Police official said militants lobbed a hand grenade in the office of PML-N leader General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch in Kharan town of Balochistan. Baloch said five PML-N workers were injured in the attack. The blast also damaged the electoral office of PML-N. Militants also targeted the electoral office of National Party Mach town of
Balochistan with grenades. Three workers were injured in the attack. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Karachi and other cities of Sindh following a call to observe a 'day of mourning' by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over twin bomb blasts outside their election office. Life came to a halt in Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Karachi, with almost all major markets closed and public transport off the roads. Funeral prayers of three workers of MQM were offered at Azizabad area of Karachi. MQM and other political parties leaders were among hundreds people who attended the prayers.
Caretakers to review situation today KARACHI: Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan has said that the caretaker government is keenly monitoring law and order situation in Karachi, and would remove reservations of all the political parties. Addressing a press conference along with MQM leadership at party's headquarters in Karachi on Sunday, Malik said he has been focusing on situation in Karachi and would improve the security of political parties and leaders. He said a high level meeting will be called today (Monday) to address the issue and the reservations of all the political parties. He assured MQM leaders that law and order situation in Karachi will be improved at all costs. Malik Habib Khan has said that not only Muttahida Qaumi Movement but other political parties were also being targeted by the terrorists. He said that correct use of vote will eliminate those who want to sabotage elections. On the occasion, Farooq Sattar said conspiracies were being hatched to prevent the MQM from taking part in elections, adding the party would participate in the electoral process at every cost. – OUR STAFF REPORTER
Pak prisoner brain dead, say doctors
HC allowed to visit Sana in Chandigarh
NEW DELHI: Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq who was attacked in an India prison in Held Kashmir last week is brain dead, doctors of the PGI Chandigarh said Sunday. Doctors at PGI Chandigarh issued the latest report over the condition of Sanaullah Haq according to which the attacked prisoner was in a brain-dead state. The report was reportedly signed by DR SN Mathu Raya and other doctors of the team tending to the Pakistani prisoner. Pakistani High Commissioner in India, Salman Bashir has taken permission from the Indian Foreign Ministry to enquire about the health of the Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah, who was injured by his Indian inmates at a prison in Bhalwal jail. According to the spokesman of the Pakistan High Commission in India, the Pakistani High Commissioner Salman
Bashir has decided to go to Chandigarh, to visit Sanaullah. The spokesman said that after permission from the Indian authorities, the Pakistan High Commissioner would embark for Chandigarh. Meanwhile, Pakistan has demanded from India the release of 47 Pakistani prisoners who have completed their prison terms and are languishing in various Indians prisons. “47 Pakistani prisoners in various prisons have completed their sentence and they should be released immediately” Pakistan’ envoy to India Salman Bashir wrote in a letter addressed to Indian foreign secretary. The letter has been handed over to top officials at Indian Ministry of External Affairs by Pakistan’s deputy High Commissioner Abdul Rehman Nizamani, spokesman for Pakistan High Commission in India Manzoor Ali Memon said. –AGENCIES
World on edge for fear of Taliban dictation
Diplomats say elections still the best-ever Believe electioneering not as terrifying as victim parties make out to be
ISLAMABAD: A front of political parties led by Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) crying hoarsely for a ‘level playing field’ in the country’s first rules-based elections seems to have failed to have drawn a response from the diplomatic community, especially so from the Americans, EU and the Arabs. Several background talks with top ranking diplomats from across the Western bloc including some of the observer missions of EU, Pacific and Gulf countries, revealed that their major concern was not MQM’s halaballoo but the Taliban. “If Taliban succeed in dictating their terms the whole world will have to seriously think about not only the future of
Pakistan but even that of the ‘war on terror’,” contended a senior observer following Pakistan and the Taliban very closely for over a decade. A group of foreign diplomats who recently met President Zardari in Karachi said “many of us sympathize with Peoples Party and its allies for not getting the chance to campaign openly because of threats from extremists, but then 2008 elections were held under worse circumstances.” One of them contended that “technically speaking this election is much better than any of the previous ones.” He argued that nearly 40 million out of 82 million votes in the 2008 elections were considered bogus and even more were challenged in the 2002 elections. Some rules of the election game had
been laid down and for the first time candidates were following some kind of discipline, he added. One of the same group said, “It certainly was not nice to see President Zardari literally living in a bunker in his palatial Karachi abode, but then we have to look at the brighter side of things.” In one such background briefing by one of the major players in Pakistani politics, it was clear that the proverbial Big Brother was not taking Peoples Party, ANP and MQM’s concerns very seriously. However, Big
Brother does believe that these parties might challenge the election results. Referring to Taliban’s threat and their reign of terror these elections, Western diplomats consider it not only alarming but decisive in the days to come. ‘If they succeed in inflicting their will on the state, it will be more disastrous than anything else,” added these diplomats. With the Saudis and other Gulf rulers already concerned about Sharif ’s safety as they provided over 20 bullet proof vehicles to them and engaging deeply in opening welfare centers across FATA with the help of Pakistan Army, they seem more content that at least their horse is openly contesting the polls while riding in chopper. “There have been so many splinter extremist groups
in the country that only a collaborated approach can help find a way out that will help all the stakeholders,” whispered a diplomat in his usual Arabic-English drift. One chilling fact that emerges from such interactions with a cross section of diplomats remains that they still believe that extremists are not anyone's friends in the political arena. They strongly believe that if three former allies of PPP are hiding because of threats, then those who are openly campaigning are very much a target of these elements too. Therefore, they — especially the Arab friends — hoped no one would take this lightly. The consensus, however, was that elections should be held, come what may.
CMYK MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
CDA chairman directs staff to resolve public issues promptly
To ensure transparency, Tahir Shahbaz orders computerisation of record at Estate Wing
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority Chairman Tahir Shahbaz has directed the officials concerned of civic body’s One Window Operation Directorate to resolve the issues being faced by the public, who visit CDA on daily basis, promptly in line with modern techniques.
He said this on the occasion of surprise visit to One Window Operation Directorate here at the CDA Headquarters. On this occasion, Estate Member Shaista Sohail was also present. Shahbaz said that the purpose of the One Window Operation was to resolve complaints of the general public in an efficient manner in line with the
modern techniques in a single compound to avoid the odd official tools and tactics. The chairman directed the officers concerned to devise a strategy for computerisation of old record so that maximum record could be saved for the future. The computerisation of the old record would also ensure
transparency as well, he said, and directed the officials to demonstrate moral obligations while dealing the public at the counters with quality official responsibilities in line with best professional techniques to satisfy them. On the occasion, Shaista Sohail apprised the CDA chairman that effective measures have been taken
for efficient and smooth functioning of the One Window Operation. She apprised that most of the record of the Estate Wing has been computerised and remaining work on computerisation would be carried out as and when computers and other related electronic appliances were furnished. Due to increase in population,
development in stalled and opening of new sectors, Estate Wing has been expanded by restructuring it. She also informed the Capital Development Authority chairman that the Estate Wing has been divided into two parts, one for the already established sectors and the other was dealing with the new residential sectors.
Countless defrauded by fraudsters ISLAMABAD: Countless innocent citizens have been defrauded of crore of rupees by fraudulent gangs and elements operating in the city. These active fraudsters have committed massive frauds in allotment of plots, houses, businesses and fake investments, using fake cheques, during past one week. Among the countless hapless ones include a Yousaf Khan who has allegedly been defrauded of Rs 1,50,00,000 by Shahzad Ahmad, while a citizen named Tahir Nawaz has complained of being defrauded of Rs 1,40,00,000. Many other cases of similar nature have been registered against men and women involved in frauds. ONLINE
Special lectures on research at Al-Khair University ISLAMABAD: The special lectures for Al-Khair University research students have been outlined from 1100 hrs to 1500 hrs. Head of department Dr Mahmood Hussain Awan would be deliberating a series of lectures about limitations, difficulties being faced by research students, while others would shed light on latest trends and factors in research. ONLINE
Adultrated drinks on the rise in summer ISLAMABAD: With the beginning of hot summer days, the unchecked adulterated drinks sold by dirty, careless and stall vendors witnessed a rise. Masses, especially the innocent school children anxious to quench their uncontrolled thirst in a hot summer day are dangerously exposed to adulterated forms of drinks, such as ice balls topped with squashed of highly and sometimes openly dubious nature and other drinks prepared with highly contaminated substances. Laced liberally with chemicals, these drinks often result in infected throats and other kinds of diseases. The citizens have demanded strict action against these vendors. ONLINE
Shortage of civic facilities at bus stops irks people ISLAMABAD: The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are already facing shortage of bus stops but there is also lack of civic facilities at existing stops, causing huge inconvenience to commuters. The passengers traveling through public transports daily complained regarding lack of dust bins at stops and thus compelling the commuters and shop keepers to throw the garbage at road side. "A number of fruit vendors earn their livelihood at bus stop and buyers are left with no option but to throw the garbage at road side due to lack of dust bins," commented Abrar Ahmed at Khana Pul bus stop. Another commuter said that garbage heaps can be found at bus stops owing to shortage of dustbins and also presented an ugly look. ONLINE
Clean and Green campaign moves to Sector I-9 ISLAMABAD: “The Clean and Green Islamabad” campaign of the Capital Development Authority has been moved to Sector I-9 on Monday. The CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz requested the residents to ensure the maximum participation in the campaign to make it successful. ONLINE
Jamhoori Watan Party activists from Dera Bugti continuing their sit-in in front of National Press Club. THE SPOKESMAN
Private housing societies plundering people in E-11
Fake societies launching residential schemes without NoC from relevent authorities
I SLAMABAD: The slackness of the Capital Development Authority towards impeding unauthorised development work in Sector E11 have provided an opportunity to some private housing societies for looting the people by launching their residential schemes. This is being done without getting any No objection Certificate (NOC) from the civic body. A senior CDA official told “The Spokesman” that the authority would take action against the private housing societies that were involved in such crimes. “But ironic is the fact that how the private societies have succeeded to get launch their housing schemes without getting NOC from the authority,” the official said, adding that hundreds of people have
invested their hard earned money in these fake societies and the action against responsible CDA officials must also be taken. The housing societies in Sector E-11 namely M/s Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Society, M/s Federation of Employees Cooperative Housing Society and the Services Cooperative Housing Societies have not been issued NOC, he added. “I had bought a plot in Pakistan Medical CHS back in 2010 on the recommendations of local property dealer as he showed me fake NOC and approval from the CDA,” said Muazzam Hayyat a plot owner in Pakistan Medical CHS, adding that it was shocking for me to know that I had bought a plot in fake society. “I had now given advertisement for urgent
sale of my plot and offered half rate of it,” he said. Real Estate Advisor Zaffar Bhutta said that due to the negligence of the CDA management, many innocent citizens from all over the country were being looted by the illegal housing schemes. “Even the property dealers and some CDA officials were getting profits from these societies due to which the action against them has been delayed for a long time,” he alleged. He elaborated that normally the property advisors got 1% commission on every deal but the illegal housing schemes paid a huge profit to real estate dealers for sailing their plots. He informed that the sale of plots in illegal housing schemes in Sector E-11 was in full swing, as due to its ideal location, many people want to buy plots in the area.
Prolonged sitting at work could boost cancer risk ISLAMABAD: Uninterrupted periods of sitting at work are very unhealthy and breaking up those long bouts with just a few minutes of light exercise, lowers a person’s cancer risk, a new study claimed. According to the Diabetes Institute in Australia, one to two minutes break from sitting can reduce levels of molecules in the body that are linked with cancer risk. “It seems highly likely that the longer you sit, the higher your risk of cancer,” the research says. The research has revealed that there’s more to physical activity than working out on a treadmill and a person who exercised for 30 minutes a day, which is the recommended amount of physical activity, is really only active for 3 percent of his or her day. This study suggested that even very brief exercise may reduce cancer risk and one to two minutes break were associated with smaller waists, less insulin resistance and lower levels of inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer. ONLINE
HEC, provinces agree on improving college education I S L A MA B A D : The Higher Education Commission and the provincial governments, under the Tertiary Education Support Program of the World Bank, have agreed for collaborative efforts to improve standards of college education. In this regard, a meeting was held here at HEC Islamabad. Speaking on the occasion, HEC Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that the college education was very important pillar of higher education in Pakistan and after 18th amendment, the HEC was working with the provincial higher education departments to bring college education at par with international standards. He also assured the HEC was ready to provide facilitation and assistance to bring quality in the college education. He emphasised over the dire need of joining hands among the provincial higher education departments and the affiliated universities to develop joint strategy in this regard.
Members of Pakistan Foreign Doctors Association holding a rally in support of their demands. ONLINE
Earlier, HEC Director General Academics Farman Ullah Anjum in his welcome remarks said that through this innovative and first sort of activity, 800 college administrators were being trained over the period of three year. He also said that the program is aimed at enchanting the standard of education in affiliated colleges and to identify those colleges which meet the minimum quality standards as prescribed by the HEC. The meeting was attended by KPK HEC Secretary Ms Farah Hamid, World Bank Coordinator Dr S Mahmood Raza, Abdul Latif University VC Dr Parveen Shah, Sindh Colleges Director General Nasir Ansar, KPK HEC Director Prof Qasim Marwat and other Higher Education Commission officials. The participants of the meeting appreciated the joint efforts of HEC and the World Bank and hoped that the program would go a long way to improve the quality of higher education in the colleges. ONLINE
Mishal Malik, the wife of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Yasin Malik addressing demonstrators outside National Press Club. ONLINE
Vendors encroach on commercial areas
Workshop on development of physics, laboratory techniques
ISL AM ABAD: 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. Shopkeepers display goods on pavements while vendors put up stalls on footpaths, forcing pedestrians to walk in the middle of the roads. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission arranged a weeklong workshop on “Development of Physics and Laboratory Techniques.” The workshop will be started from May 10 and AIOU VC Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi will preside over the opening ceremony. Senior faculty members from public and private universities across the country will participate in the workshop.
Allama Iqbal Open University Physics Department Chairman Dr Syed Zafar Ilyas said that the workshop would focus on laboratory techniques, BS physics, MSc. laboratory experiments and basic principles of performing experiments. He said that the workshop meant to promote international standard and latest techniques among the students, adding that a senior professor from Germany was specially invited to share his expertise with the participant. ONLINE
POWER ALLEYS |
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
NA 41 elections to be held under two "Election Commissions" TAHIR ALI
NA-41, Tribal area – VI South Waziristan, is one of the constituencies in tribal areas where the homegrown militants have set rules and regulations for the candidates. The area is under the influence of Mullah Nazir militant group and no politician in this constituency could dare violating rules set by the Taliban. Interestingly the Salahuddin Ayubi, the head of Mullah Nazir group is also the head of Ahmadzai Wazir’s peace committee. In NA-41 there will be a contest amongst 38 candidates. Majority of tribesmen in this constituency are Wazir while a considerable number of Mehsud tribesmen live in Tyarza tehsil. The real contest is expected between Maulana Abdul Malik Wazir and independent candidate Muhammad Ali popularly known as Ali Wazir. In general elections of 2002 and 2008 the seat went to Maulana Abdul Malik Wazir; now after the extension Political Parties Order 2002 he is contesting the election on the ticket of JUI-F which is one of the strongest parties in the Agency. Ali Wazir is a young man who was affiliated to the student wing of Awami National Party during his study. At the moment Ayaz Wazir is representing the ANP in the elections however his position is very weak, as he could not openly run his election campaign. He was the runner-up in the 2008 general elections. Naseerullah Khan is another independent candidate who can make upset. A relatively unpopular Ajab Gul Wazir is contesting the elections on PTI ticket. Ghalib Khan of Company Baghi Zari Noor Tehsil Wana is representing Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) in the elections while PPP has awarded ticket to Amanullah Wazir of Karikot Wana.
During the general elections of 2008 Maulana Abdul Malik Wazir grabbed 9000 votes; Ghalib Khan of PML-N remained second by securing 8177 ballots. An independent candidate Azizul Hasan Wazir who remained third during the last election by bagging 7179 votes is not going for this election. Before the start of election activities in NA-41 South Waziristan the local militants set rules for the candidates. Commander Ayubi invited all the candidates to a meeting and briefed them how to go for the elections. The politicians were ensured that the Taliban would not interfere in their activities but for safe balloting they should take some measures. The ‘Election Commission of Taliban’ has set four rules for all the political parties: Firstly, the political rallies should be held in open areas out of the Rustam Bazaar, the main market of the area: secondly the candidates with no popular votes should contest the elections; thirdly the candidates
should avoid indecent criticism for each others during campaigning; fourthly, ANP, MQM and PPP should not use party flags, banners in public places. ANP workers in the area allege that the Taliban treatment towards JUI-F, PTI and PML-N is indifferent while the nationalist party has been ‘harshly’ treated. ANP is running door to door campaign while the other parties are holding meetings in open areas while following the order of ‘ECT’. The ANP also approached the ‘Taliban Election Commission’ to amend the rules and to allow the party workers to hoist party flag on the office at Wana bazaar but the permission was not granted. Political analysts term Maulana Abdul Malik of JUI-F and independent candidates Ali Wazir and Naseerullah Khan Wazir as the leading contenders in NA-41 but tribal areas are known for upsets.
Bad venue choice adds to people’s miseries PML-N rally keeps all roads to and from Aabpara Chowk choked entire day SALMAN ABBAS
The public gathering of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the federal capital on Sunday gave party activists a chance to catch a glimpse of their leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, but it also caused hardships for common because of the choice of venue. Abpara Chowk is considered the busiest locality of the city and all the roads leading to it were blocked for almost the whole day. Routine business in Abpara Market stopped and traders criticized the party leadership for arranging such gatherings on roads instead of grounds or open spaces in the suburbs. However, thousands of PML-N workers including women and youngsters were in the gathering to support the Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N. “We are here not only to show our support for PML-N but for Pakistan, as Nawaz Sharif is the only leader who wants to take practical steps toward the welfare of the country,” said Jamil Khan, a PML-N supporter. The main focus of the PML-N leadership in Islamabad was to attract the youth, drawing out a large number of youngsters from their homes to participate in the gathering. “Dr Tariq has arranged a van for us and insisted we come,” said Luqman Amjad, another supporter from Koral. Anjum Aqeel Khan and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry are the PML-N candidates for two National Assembly seats of the federal capital — NA-48 and NA-49. In the 2008 elections, both won these seats but now things seem to be different for both of them. The main reason for Nawaz Sharif 's
visit to Islamabad was also to boost the PML-N in the federal capital, where the PTI and PPP are active. A local PML-N leader who wished to remain unnamed said Abpara Chowk was chosen as the venue to ensure "a fine show of party power". We might have not attracted such a large number of people, if the gathering had been arranged at any other place.” Holding PML-N flags, a charged crowd chanted slogans for their party leader. During his speech, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif appealed to the residents of Islamabad to vote for his party. “If PML-N is voted to power, we will start the metro bus service between Rawalpindi and Islamabad,” he committed to Islooites. Reiterating the achievements of his party when he was in power, Nawaz Sharif said the 11th of May would be a
decisive day in the country’s history and the people must elect mature people on that day for Pakistan's progress. “We were the people who carried out the nuclear experiment despite strong opposition from foreign forces and we were the people who built the Motorway,” he said. “I want to revive the dignity and stature my country lost because of the bad deeds by corrupt rulers over the last five years,” he said. When development work was being carried out in Punjab, the forces sitting in the power corridors in Islamabad were busy plundering public money, he said. Swearing that his party would end unemployment, he urged the youth to support PML-N. “This is my team and I cannot watch them unemployed,” said Nawaz dramatically pointing to the hundreds of youngsters standing before him.
The tough battles of Punjab for NA - Part II
NA 87 Jhang Faisal Saleh Hyat (Ind) vs Abid Imam (PPP): Faisal won the previous two
The elder Dastgir made his political fortunes by aligning himself with the right quarters throughout his political career. He was thick with powers that be when Sharifs were in exile and then again managed to get PML-N ticket for his son Khurram. The younger Dastgir along with Fayyaz Chatha, son of Hamid Nasir Chattha, who was a Musharraf loyalist and district nazim ruled the district without any rival. But in this campaign the Dastgir clan is in trouble. PPP vote of 25,000-35,000 will also play a vital role in deciding the winner from here. One of the reasons for their declining popularity is a matter of an overhead bridge which was ‘shortened’ to save the plush shopping mall he owns.
NA 105 Gujrat Ch. Pervez Elahi vs Ahmed Mukhtar (PPP): This is a big one. The
rounds in 2002 and 2008, though on different tickets, against debutant Abid Imam’s mother Syeda Abida Hussain and is favorite to win this one too. Faisal and Abida are cousins and are traditional arch rivals in battle of Shah Jewna. Now Syeda Abida Hussain is stuck in PPP, though she made some overtures to PML-N at the time of ticket distribution while father Fakhar Imam has made the move to PML-N. Faisal won the elections in 2002 on a PPP ticket while Abida was on PML-Q ticket. In 2008, Faisal won the seat on PML-Q ticket while Abida again lost on a PPP ticket. This time after Faisal could not work out the deal with PMLN, he is contesting as independent while Abida has gone into semi-retirement offering the mantle to son Abid Imam. This explains that there is no party vote bank in the area, and it’s all about personal rivalry and personal vote bank.
NA 96 Gujranwala Khurram Dastgir (PMLN) vs Saeed Gujjar (PPP), S.A. Hameed (PTI):
The reports at the time of writing say that PTI candidate S.A. Hameed who is a former MPA and a social worker from the area is giving sleepless nights to Khurram Dastgir, son of former PML-N stalwart Rana Ghulam Dastgir.
constituency is being watched nationally as traditional rivals Chaudhries of Gujrat and Chaudhries of Service Group have locked horns again. This is a Gujrat city seat where PML-N has stopped campaigning to give Ahmed Mukhtar a clear shot at Elahi. Last time it produced fireworks when Mukhtar defeated Ch Shujaat Hussain in a close fight and this time the constituency is on national radar right from the start. PPP and PML-Q, partners in this election, negotiated for a long time on the withdrawal of Ch Ahmed Mukhtar. However, after final refusal from Mukhtar, the seat was declared open. The constituency has Jutt, Butt and Gujjars who make bulk of the voters. Elahi is leaving nothing to chance this time as it has become the matter of political survival for Chaudhries. At the moment it is a dead heat and will be hard to tell till election night.
NA 117 Narowal Ahsan Iqbal (PML-N) vs Ibrarul Haq (PTI): This constituency has
changed its character and color ever since the final line-up was decided. It was an Ahsan Iqbal seat from the start but now the tide has been
partially reversed. Ahsan Iqbal a former Islami Jamiat-i-Talba activist and son of Apa Nisar Fatima who was a member of Zia’s Majlis-iShoora is up against a folk pop star who is hugely popular in youth. Iqbal represents everything that the old order of Pakistan politics has – strong ‘Biradri ties’, strong connections with powers that be and an old hand of constituency politics. On the other hand Ibrar is representing new face of politician though his family also has strong connections with Khaki as his two elder brothers come from Army (exservicemen) and are running Haq’s campaign. Iqbal’s arrogance and aloofness has been a decisive factor in Haq’s rise in popularity. At the moment both are locked in race to the finish and it will be difficult to predict the outcome.
from here and in 2008 his son Khurram Jehangir Wattoo won the seat by a big margin on a PPP ticket defeating Zafar yasin Wattoo, son of another stalwart of the area Yasin Wattoo. This has developed in a straight fight between PPP and PML-N as Moeen Wattoo has been an MPA from this constituency. PML-N this time has weaved a web around Manzoor Wattoo by aligning local landlords of the area and to pin Wattoo down in local politics. In 2002, Wattoo’s daughter Rubina won this seat. This time too, the master of constituency politics, Manzoor Wattoo is favourite to win the race.
from the constituency. The opponent is son of Khich tribe Chief Mumtaz Khan Khich and is former MNA. PPP has a strong vote bank in the area and if that vote switches to PTI, somehow, Khichi could emerge winner after defeating Daultana for the first time.
NA 173 DG Khan Saif Khosa (PPP) vs Awais Leghari (Ind): This constituency witnessed
NA 149 Multan Javed Hashmi (PTI) vs Tahir Rasheed (PML-N): This is a four-way tie
NA 140 Kasur Khurshid Kasuri (PTI) vs Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali (Ind): The award of
PTI ticket here almost divided the party at the seams just three weeks back. Kasuri and Aseff both Pakistan’s former foreign ministers were contenders for this ticket and the issue went to the top creating a lot of bickering and acrimony in the party. The chairman of the PTI had to step in himself and decided the issue in favor of Kasuri, an arch rival of Sardar Aseff. Aseff who left PPP to join PTI was incensed and left the party in a huff along with his loyalists in Kasur. In 2008, Khurshid Kasuri had defeated Sardar by a clear margin of 9000 votes but in 2002, Kasuri won the seat by a margin of just few hundred votes against Moeenuddin Lakhvi. PPP has a good vote bank in the area but after their Kasur President left the party to join PTI, the party is not running from the constituency. The early campaign trends show an edge to Kasuri.
among Javed Hashmi, Tahir Rashid, Amir Dogar and Liaqat Baloch. Hashmi won this seat in 2008 elections by defeating Malik Salahuddin Dogar of PPP on a PML-N ticket. However when Hashmi vacated the seat after joining PTI, the seat was won by Tahir Rasheed of PML-N who belongs to city’s big RohtakHassar biradri. However this time local PML-N party was not unanimous on ticket for Tahir Rasheed. PPP candidate Amir Dogar is also a very strong horse. He is son of Malik Liaqat Dogar who won the seat in 2002 elections. Jamaat Islami naib Amir Liaqat Baloch is also running from this constituency to make it a tough mix. Since this is home constituency to Hashmi, he has an edge, though the PTI president lost from here against comrade Shah Mehmood Qureshi once.
strange ways of politics just before the elections. Saif Khosa, the son of PML-N point man in the region Zulfiqar Khosa suddenly announced to join PPP while Awais Leghari who had joined PTI along with brother Jamal started making overtures to PML-N and almost joined Sharifs’ party had it been not for Zulfiqar Khosa’s opposition. After disappointment from PMLN, Leghari brothers had no choice but to run as independents as Khosa’s son had already taken PPP ticket. Now one can’t rule out Legharis from this constituency on whatever ticket they might choose. Saif Khosa is running his campaign well and being on a PPP ticket is an advantage while Leghari has the advantage of home constituency. It will be a real cracker.
NA 177 Kot Addu Jamshed Dasti (Ind) vs Noor Rabbani Khar (PPP): This has developed
NA 167 Vehari Tehmina Daultana (PML-N) vs Aftab Khan Khichi (PTI): Here winner since
NA 147 Okara Manzoor Watto (PPP) vs Moeen Watto (PML-N): This is Haveli Lakha
constituency, home to Manzoor Watto and family. Manzoor Watto has been elected twice
1993 and a PML-N bigwig Tehmina Daultana look in trouble for the first time. His main support base held by Saeed Manais is not supporting party’s candidate because the former Punjab speaker wanted to run himself
into a revenge fight between Dasti and Noor Rabbani Khar. Pakistan’s former foreign minister Hina rabbani had won this seat in 2008 while Jamshed Dasti was elected from a neighbouring constituency till he was expelled because of fake degree. PPP decided not to award him ticket this time and Noor Rabbani withdrew Hina Rabbani following her spat with Dasti. Rabbani Khar has the advantage of PPP ticket here but Dasti has proved himself to be a common man’s leader. He is popularly called Rescue 1122 in his area because of his round the clock social work. He belongs to a humble background which is his advantage. This one will be an interesting contest to watch.
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
Baloch urges masses to reject corrupt politician PPP strengthened democracy: Kaira LALAMUSA: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said their party strengthened democracy during its tenure. Addressing a public meeting in Lalamusa on Sunday‚ he said the PPP led former government also promoted unity of all the federating units. Kaira said it is a good omen that all political forces are taking part in elections. The PPP leader also said that his party served with great courage despite international pressures. Earlier‚ addressing another gathering near Lalamusa‚ he said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto never bowed their heads before dictators. He said PPP workers also rendered numerous sacrifices for the cause of democracy and were imprisoned in notorious jails of Shahi Qila‚ Attock and Mianwali. ONLINE
Says Jamaat-e-Islami will free nation from lords, terrorists, extortionists, target killers Says PML-N and PTI promoting traditional politics
LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General and candidate from NA 126 Liaquat Baloch has urged upon the masses to change their outlook for the restoration of peace in the country and reject the corrupt politicians. Addressing corner meetings here at his constituency on Sunday, he stressed the people to vote for honest, competent and patriotic candidates for bringing about peace and stability in the country. Baloch said that the Jamaat-eIslami would free the masses from the clutches of lords, terrorists and extortionists and target killers. He said that the tenure of the Pakistan
People’s Party, Awami National Party, Mutahida Qaumi Movement and the Pakistan Muslim League had been a nightmare for the nation as the country was plunged into a host of problems including loadshedding of electricity, oppression, tyranny, energy crisis and poverty. The Jamaat leader said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf had only promoted traditional politics through mutual mudslinging and bringing around incompetent and corrupt candidates. He said that the Jamaate-Islami would have an important role in the country’s national politics in future. ONLINE
We are against victimisation, says Elahi LAHORE: Former deputy prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League senior leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has said that his party did not believe in politics of victimisation and served the nation without any discrimination. In a statement issued here on Sunday, he said that the Muslim League had always given priority to serve the people. Commenting on corruption scandal of Rs 30 billion in the audit report of the Tandoor scheme, he said that the
former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has done such work that roti khatam paisey hazam. “We have worked for the welfare of the common man,” he said. The statement also said that some important personalities of Sadaat community including Syed Zameer Hussain Shah and Syed Amjad Hussain Shah announced to join the Muslim League along with their family and friends. ONLINE
KP minister vows to adopt modern education system PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information and Education Minister Mossarat Qadeem said that education was the only gateway to success and Pakistan should have to adopt modern educational system to get dignified status among the nations. Keeping in view the importance of the standard educational system, the KP government has decided to examine the education systems of the developed countries, she added. She expressed these views during her visit to Lahore on Sunday where Punjab Schools Education Secretary Aslam Kamboh briefed the caretaker minister about educational activities of the Punjab. Mossarat maintained that the KP government has done a remarkable work in education sector. The education minister applauded the steps taken by the Punjab government towards quality education. Mossarat also visited the Directorate of Staff Development Punjab and Punjab Examination Commission where she was briefed in detail about the work, performance and achievements of these institutions. ONLINE
Sethi takes notice of violence against PTI workers LAHORE: Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi has taken notice of the violence against workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Toba Tek Singh on Sunday. The chief minister has sought a report from the Police IG and directed immediate action against the perpetrators. ONLINE
TALAGANG: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addresses a public meeting. ONLINE
CHINIOT: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan addressing a public gathering at Hockey Stadium. ONLINE
70 govt officials campaigning for candidates in 25 constituencies MUZAMMIL HUSSAIN SYED
ISLAMABAD: Observers, associated with the Free and Fair Election Network, reported that a total of 70 government officials were participating in political activities in 25 constituencies across the country. About 36 officials were seen seeking votes for different candidates in 12 constituencies, while another 17 officials were observed participating in political rallies in 12 different constituencies. The pre-election update by FAFEN highlighted the use of state resources by some political parties for their election campaigns. It has been prepared from information gathered by the FAFEN’s Constituency LongTerm Observers (CLTOs) from April 1 to April 23, 2013. The observers saw 14 officials having private meetings with the political candidates in seven constituencies, while one official was seen allowing a candidate to use official resources. In addition, the observers saw a party flag put up at a public official’s residence and another flag on a vehicle belonging to a government servant. The observers also reported seeing 74 campaign materials (banners, posters, stickers, wall chalking, flexes and flags) on the premises of
government buildings. PML-N had the highest incidence (24) of campaign material displayed on state buildings, followed by independent candidates (19), Pakistan People’s Party (10), Awami National Party (seven), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (six), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (four), Jamaat-eIslami (three) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (one). The observers reported the initiation of 38 development schemes by political leaders. The FAFEN recommends that the Election Commission should take action against parties and candidates violating the code of conduct and ensure no political campaign material is there at any government office or public place. The EC should ensure that the government officials do not take part in campaign of any party or candidate and action must be taken against violators. The political parties and citizens should observe public offices across the country and report any campaigning at public offices. The observers also observed participation of the government officials in political activities, the announcement of development schemes and use of government vehicles in the political campaigns. They observed the officials’ participation in political campaigns in 25
constituencies, government buildings in 30 constituencies, and development schemes in 18 constituencies. Most of the officials (15) were seen seeking votes for the PML-N candidates, followed by 11 officials doing so for independent candidates, five officials for PTI candidates, two for PPP and one for JUI-F candidate. The observers could not identify the party affiliation of officials seeking votes for the candidates in two instances. The majority (22) of the 36 officials seeking votes for the candidates belonged to the Education Department. They included schoolteachers and principals who play an influential role in securing a vote bank in rural areas. The observers in Multan saw EDO Education seeking votes for a PML-N candidate, while a Deputy District Education Officer was seen seeking votes for an independent candidate in Faisalabad. In addition to education officials, the EDO Health in Kurram Agency was seen seeking votes for a JUI-F candidate while a police inspector was observed doing so for a PML-N candidate in Narowal. Similarly, Azad Kashmir minister was also seen seeking votes for a PML-N candidate in Narowal, while two revenue officers were seen doing so for an
independent candidate in Bhakkar. The observers witnessed a PPP candidate meeting a police official, two health officials and five education officials in Jamshoro, and also observed a meeting between a JUI-F candidate and EDO Health in Kurram Agency. The observers saw the DCO in Benazirabad having a private meeting with a PPP candidate, while an assistant commissioner was seen having a meeting with a leader of Balochistan National Party-M in Kech-cumGwadar. Moreover, an official belonging to the Irrigation Department was also seen having a private meeting with a PML-F candidate in Matiari-cum-Hyderabad. The observers saw a total of 17 officials participating in political rallies and most of them belonged to the Education Department. The observers reported seeing the EDOs (Education) at PPP rallies in Jamshoro and Mirpurkhas-cum-Umerkot, while another EDO Education was seen at a JUI-F candidate’s rally in Dera Ismail Khan-cumTank. The observer in NA-213 (Benazirabad-I) saw the EDO Works and Services at a PPP rally while the observer in NA-72 (Mianwali-II) reported seeing a police constable at a PTI rally.
Govt to address reservations of all parties, says Malik LAHORE: A woman activist of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen during a demonstration against the Syria incident, outside the American Consulate. ONLINE
KARACHI: Daily-wage workers sitting by the roadside as they wait for employment on mourning day. ONLINE
KARACHI: Caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan said that the caretaker government is keenly monitoring law and order situation in Karachi and would remove reservations of all the political parties. Addressing a press conference along with MQM leadership at party's headquarters in Karachi on Sunday, he said that he had been focusing on situation and would improve the security of political parties and leaders. He said a high level meeting would be called on Monday (today) to address the issue and the reservations of all the political parties. He assured the MQM leaders that law and order situation in Karachi would be improved at all costs. Habib said that not only MQM but other political parties were also being targeted by the terrorists. He said that correct use of vote would eliminate those who want to sabotage elections. Dr Farooq Sattar said that conspiracies were being hatched to prevent the MQM from taking part in elections, adding the party would participate at every cost. ONLINE
11 suspects held during house-to-house search
KARACHI: Sindh police and paramilitary Rangers continued their search operation in parts of Karachi on Sunday, rounding up 11 more suspected criminals. Senior government officials said that in a joint crackdown overnight, Rangers and police cordoned off Tauheed Commercial area in Defence-V and conducted house-to-house search. At least 11 suspected criminals were arrested in the operation. A huge cache of arms were recovered from their possession, the officials said, adding that the suspects were shifted to undisclosed location for investigations. The largest city and financial capital of the country has been witnessing worst violence in recent years where thousands of people have lost their lives in target killing and bomb blasts. ONLINE
LAHORE: Cows and youngsters seen bathing in canal near Jallo Morr. ONLINE
Obscene CD sales go unchecked
KARACHI: A policeman seen napping at a closed petrol station on Shahrah-e-Pakistan on mourning day, announced by MQM for the deaths of workers. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Following imposition of a ban by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on websites infested with x-rated movies, business of obscene CDs has gained ground in this city. This business is touching its peak in all known markets particularly Imperial Market and Mughal Sarai Market with the involvement of some police officials. These CDs can be seen in different shops rolling sinister eyes to entrap the frustration-riddled men and women hovering around the market. This trade is not confined to CDs
only but those doing business of downloading of the obscene clips in mobile phone memory cards are also second to none in minting money from this trade. Anyone can buy x-rated films at the cost ranging between Rs 30 to 45 and DVD from Rs 50 to Rs 55 in these markets. These markets are not only bubbling with foreign x-movies but also sale of desi nude CD clips is on the way to hunting both genders irrespective of their age. Wherefrom this vulgarity breeding business originates, query is raised but is
hushed up when criminals are seen standing behind it. They bring nude video clips to markets in the shape of CDs. The police are harvesting money as this business has become more lucrative for cops than the traders. As soon as any client comes out of the shop he is overtaken by policemen clad in plain clothes. But he has to surrender and makes his way after filling an empty pocket at the cost of pockets of morality, ethics and social norms. Social circles demanded crackdown against this anti-social trade. ONLINE
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
Tough competition expected in NA-11 Mardan II MARDAN: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) central vice-president and former MNA Khanzada Khan is facing a tough challenge from the candidates of JUI-F and ANP. Khanzada Khan who is a close friend of President Asif Ali Zardari is contesting election from PPP but two strong candidates including Maulana Imdadullah from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-(F) and Awami National Party (ANP)’s Inayat Khan are also in the run. A tough contest is expected among the JUI-F, PPP and ANP though the candidates of other parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) and JI are also in the run. NA-11 Mardan-III includes Katlang, Rustam, Gahri Kapura and some parts of Gujrat, Bakhsali and Cahrbanda areas. The NA-11 has traditionally been a stronghold of the PPP and ANP as the nominees of both the parities, including Mohammad Azam Khan Hoti and Abdul Akbar Khan, won the seat in the past. However in the 2002 election candidate of religious parties’ alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Maulana Atta-urRehman won this seat. Later in the 2008, election PPP candidate Abdul Akbar Khan won this seat and gained 49,060 votes, ANP candidate Haji
Naseem-ur-Reman got 26546 votes. Abdul Akbar Khan also won provincial assembly PK 29 Mardan-7. Later on he left the national assembly seat and took oath as provincial assembly member. In the by-election PPP Khanzada Khan who was supported by ANP won this seat. Khanzada Khan has close relation with President Asif Ali Zardari and he did a lot of works in this constituency. The natural gas was the main demand of the people of this constituency he fulfilled their demand and also installed several transformers in the areas. On the request of Khanzada Khan former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited
Mardan announced several projects for his constituency. In the upcoming polls Khanzada Khan is facing tough contest from JUI-F candidate Maulana Imdadullah, a religious scholar, who did a lot of welfare works in the area and there is great respect among the people of the area. ANP candidate Inayat Khan, who also remained twice nazim of union council Babuzi, enjoys great respect in the area while there is a strong vote bank of ANP in these areas. Former chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti in his five year government also did a lot of developmental works in the area,
especially Biazi irrigation scheme. However, former MNA and central vice president of PPP Khanzada Khan is facing tough contest in the upcoming polls. The NA-11 has two provincial assembly constituencies i.e. PK-29, PK-30 and some union councils of PK 25 and 28. On PK-29 a tough contest is expected among PPP candidate Abdul Akbar Khan, ANP’s Idrees Bacha, PML-N’s Akhtar Nawaz and JUI-F’s Taus Khan. In 2008 election PPP candidate Abdul Akbar Khan won this seat and gained 11715 votes. In PK-30, tough contest is expected among PPP’s Imtiaz Shagai, JUI-F’s Tajul Amin Jabal, ANP’s candidate
FC man arrested for carrying explosives AT TOCK: Police have arrested a Frontier Corps (FC) personnel after recovery of detonators along with a safety fuse from his possession in an attempt at Khushalgarh bridge on the Kohat-Pindi Road. The bridge borders an entry check post between Kohat district of KPK and Attock district of Punjab. District Police officer (DPO) Abdul Kadir Qamar told this scribe on Sunday that police stopped a Rawalpindi bound coach (E-3224), coming from Kohat district, for routine checking at Khushalgarh check post on the KohatPindi Road. During the checking of the vehicle, they spotted a suspicious passenger carrying a shopping bag in his hands. From his possession, five detonators along with a 23 foot long safety fuse were recovered, which can be used to detonate the explosives both as a timer device and manually as well, he said. The accused was immediately shifted to the Jand Police Station and identified as Khalid Mehmood resident of Haripur district, the DPO said. During a preliminary interrogation, the accused Khalid Mehmood, disclosed before the police that he is a FC serviceman and serving as a bomb disposal expert at Thal Cantonment, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The DPO further said that the accused has disclosed to the police that he was carrying it to his village for personal purpose of ground breaking, which he needs for the construction of his house. After the disclosure, the concerned FC’s authorities were informed about the incident, who also reached the DPO headquarters and verified the identification of the accused, Qamar said. After confirming the ID of the accused as a FC personnel, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has also been formed. The JIT includes police investigators, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), who will probe the real motive behind the sensitive nature of the incident, he informed. The Jand Police have also registered a case against the accused and have also obtained a two-day physical remand from the judicial magistrate Jand for want of interrogation. Moreover the FC authorities have also initiated their own departmental inquiry in the matter, the DPO added. To a question, the DPO said that preliminary investigation shows that the accused has so far not been proven to have any link with any terrorist organisation. It’s also worth mentioning here that Thal is situated near the tribal area of North Waziristan. –AGENCIES
‘Pakistan facing extremism, terrorism threat’ PESH AWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has said that the country has been confronting many challenges including terrorism and extremism, which can be reduced through involving the youth in healthy activities, like different sports. Addressing the concluding ceremony of the 23rd Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Open Golf Championship held under the aegis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Golf Association at Peshawar Golf Course on Sunday, he pointed out that the sports oriented events certainly contribute positively in restoring confidence of the general public. In all 200 renowned golfers from across the country, who participated in the event in its Professionals; Seniors, Professionals; Amateurs; Sr. Veterans; Ladies; boys and girls under 18; under 15 and minor’s categories, Adil Jehangir from Lahore Gymkhana Club won the champion’s Trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 87,210. Special prizes were also given to Taimur Naseer and Ghazanfar Mahmood for their overall best performance in the three day championship. The governor said the province has produced Golf champions of international fame, whose contribution towards promotion of this game is well acknowledged. He expressed his keen desire to promote the game in FATA and other farflung areas of the province. –ONLINE
Latif Gul and PML-N’s Azam Khan. In the 2008 election, PPP’s Iftikhar Shagai won this seat, but he died in a road accident while going to attend the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. His brother Imtiaz Shagai won this seat in the by-election. Though independent observers said that tough contest is expected among ANP, JUI-F and PPP because positions of these parties are strong until now if things don’t change in the coming days as PTI, PML-N and JI have also accelerated efforts to win these seats. However, the contest will be a close one and the margin of winning and losing candidates will be thin. –ONLINE
Nawaz promises Kargil probe Vows to stop army interference in civilian govt May 11 to change people’s destiny
PESHAWAR: Matchless woodwork at a mosque in Mohalla Sethian. –ONLINE
PTI poll banner lands in Jammu
Indo-Pak Bus Service under threat
MONITORING DESK RA JURI: After covering hundreds of nautical miles, hot air balloons carrying election banner of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party landed in a remote village in Kalakot tehsil in the early hours the other day, reported The Hindustan Times. The banner carrying the photograph of Imran Khan, his party's name and a cricket bat as election symbol carried by a few hot air balloons landed on a tree in Biaragua village which is under the jurisdiction of Kalakot police station. At about 6am on Saturday, Sallha Mohammad saw a banner with 'Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party' written on it on a tree in the fields near his house. Assuming that some anti-national elements have hoisted the Pakistan flag, he immediately informed the police.
A police party headed by inspector V Parihar rushed to the village and seized the banner. When contacted Parihar said that after reading the text written on the banner it was established that it was a banner of Imran's party which might have been sent in the air during an election rally somewhere in Pakistan.
NANKANA SAHIB: The Pakistan-India Friendship Bus Service has come under the grave shadows of dangers after the killing of Indian spy, Sarabjit Singh. Media reports said that due to imminent threats by Indian terrorists, bus under strict security arrangements came to Nankana Sahib without any passenger and then go back to Amritsar empty handed. Indian miscreants on Tuesday threatened to set on fire the Friendship Bus, after these rumours, the bus was being brought to Amritsar through secret route. –ONLINE
LAHORE/MIANWALI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif said that if voted to power, he would constitute a commission to probe Kargil conflict and its investigation report would be made public. In an interview with an Indian news channel, Nawaz Sharif said no issue could be resolved at gunpoint, adding that all options including dialogue should be used to resolve the issue of terrorism. Nawaz Sharif further said that if he comes to power, he would ensure the army doesn't interfere in the affairs of the civilian government. He further said the prime minister should the boss of the army chief. Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif said that May 11 was not the Election Day but was the day to change the destiny of the country and fate of people. Addressing a public meeting at Piplan near Mianwali on Sunday‚ he said that power crisis had worsened the life of common man and during the last five years‚ PPP government did not take any step to provide relief to masses. Nawaz Sharif said that PML N had taken initiatives in the past for the development of the country and in Mianwali Chashma Nuclear project was launched. He said that if voted to power‚ they will make Pakistan a developed and prosperous country and power crisis would be resolved within shortest possible time.
The PML-N‚ Chief said that revolutionary steps will be taken to accelerate economic growth and farmers will be provided incentives for increase in produce. He said that loans would be provided to jobless youth for business activities and education facilities should also be ensured for the progress of the country. Nawaz urged the people to vote for his party to bring back the era of development and economic progress. PML-N president said the country was passing through difficult time and added that they would put the country on the way of progress and prosperity. He said the performance of Punjab government was remarkable and it started new projects to facilitate the people of Punjab during the last five years. As the election campaign has entered into its last week, the frequency of ralllies is also increasing as all the political parties are trying to attract maximum voters. –ONLINE
Candidates to ensure rebuilding damaged houses OUR STAFF REPORTER GHALANAI: Independent candidate for NA-36 from Mohmand Agency Malik Wazir Muhammad Safi on Sunday announced that he would support another independent Nisar Momand in the election. Addressing an emergency press conference at Mohmand Press Club, Malik Wazir Muhammad Safi said that he had taken the decision after realising that Nisar Momand is the only candidate who had a collective thinking’s for development and progress of the area. He hoped the Nisar Momand would end loadshedding, corruption and lawlessness in the area after winning the election. On the occasion independent candidate
Nisar Momand said that he would not tease interests of public. He added that if elected, they would reconstruct the damaged houses during the militancy. He lamented the exparliamentarians that they had nothing for the welfare and progress of the area. Nisar Momand said that it is the important parts of my manifesto to provide education and health facilities to all the Mohmand tribesmen. He said that restoration of peace in the area is my top priority and I will try my best to restore law and order situation in the area. Nisar also promised that he will works for the betterment of agriculture, social safety of labour, unemployment, senior citizens, development works, taxes and for 25 disputed villages issue.
ATTOCK: Wild big honey bees at Bariyal village. –ONLINE
PPP’s nominee for NA-57 promises to change Attock RASHID ALI ATTOCK: Despite being gifted with economic, agricultural, rich commercial and mineral resources, Attock’s problems have never been solved and it has not been able to start its journey towards progress only because of lack of leadership. These views were expressed by Haji Muhammad Gulzar Awan, PPP’s candidate for NA-57. He stated that those with vested interests always intrigued to keep Attock backward. He said that he belongs to a poor and middle class family and he has risen from the ranks and has become gold after going through the tests of circumstances and is fully aware of the problems being faced by the
people. He vowed that he was capable of, after getting elected, changing the conditions of Attock and he could change lives of thousands like him. He further declared that he can do what others cannot; whether the government provides funds or not he, being a technocrat, can accomplish what others could not during the last 65 years. Capitalist, feudal, vested interests and privileged elite are prepared to impose themselves upon the people by befooling them in the general elections by making false promises. These people have deprived the masses by illegally sucking away billions of rupees. Those who purchase poor people’s lands at low
Haji Muhammad Gulzar Awan rates and then resell them at exorbitantly high rates after getting government schemes on these lands can never be peoples’ well-wishers.
He said that he grew up in Attock and later moved to Rawalpindi to earn his livelihood and he still has his agricultural land in Attock. Rawalpindi is only at an hour’s distance from Attock and he will never in difficulty in keeping in touch with his constituents. He invited the people of the district to directly call him on his phone numbers in order to avoid communications problems. He stated that Malik Hakmeen Khan has opted out of elections in the best interest of the country and will get him elected to the Senate of Pakistan whereas Sardar Saleem Haider put his ministry at stake many a times to raise the voice of poor people of his constituency. Replying to a question, PPP leader haji Gulzar Awan said
that he himself belongs to the middle class and is aware of the problems faced by the middle class. He also said that after getting elected he would strive to provide jobs and small loans to the youth of his constituency so that they can be able to earn their livelihood by being gainfully employed. Haji Gulzar Awan said that the poor people of the constituency are with him because they want change as they are fed up with the traditional feudal representatives. Attock’s people have been deceived many times but now they are aware and would not make a wrong decision rather they would vote for the arrow in the coming elections because only the PPP would lead them to progress.
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
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Anti-terrorism follies An anti-terrorism court on Saturday acquitted the chief of defunct Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM), Maulana Muhammad Sufi, in a case registered at Matta police station in 1994 when activists of TNSM had occupied several government installations in Swat to push for their demand to enforce their brand of Islamic law. The judge accepted an application from the lawyer of the accused for the acquittal of his client under Section 265-K of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which empowers the court to acquit an accused before the conclusion of a trial in case there is no possibility of his or her conviction in light of the evidence on record. Until now, the antiterrorism court, Swat, whose presiding officer is conducting trials in Peshawar, has acquitted Sufi Mohammad in five terrorism cases, while eight cases against him are still pending awaiting a decision. Initially, he was arrested in the Kurram Agency in December 2001 on his return from Afghanistan along with a few hundred people who had survived out of the 10,000 he had led to fight American forces. With the blood of so many young men on his hand, he had requested the political agent to arrest him to avert the wrath of the people. He was tried and sentenced under several sections of the PPC and the Frontier Crimes Regulation by the relevant political agent. On 21 April 2008, Sufi Muhammad was released under an agreement with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government. There followed another peace agreement between TNSM and the government in February 2009, which failed in restoring peace in the Malakand division. Afterwards, the security forces began an operation against TNSM activists in the division leading to the rearrest of Sufi Mohammad on 26 July 2009 along with his three sons, and since then he is in custody. In November 2011, the ATC had acquitted his sons because the prosecution failed to prove its cases against them. The security agencies of Pakistan have been complaining that the terrorists and terrorism suspects are arrested but they are let off the hook by the courts due to a lack of evidence that could hold in a court of law. Because of the holes in the existing anti-terrorism law, terrorism suspects go scot-free from courts and then continue with the bloodletting of innocent people and members of the security forces. The problem is that witnesses are scared to stand in the witness box to testify against them because of threats and their ferocious sympathisers. Even the investigators shy away from collecting hard evidence for the fear of their own and their families’ lives. Thus, many accused have been released because of a lack of evidence or inadequate security for witnesses and judges. There is a pressing need to reform the criminal justice system to effectively handle terrorism. A system has to be evolved so that the judges of anti-terrorism courts could hold trials without any fear. Surely, the methods being employed effectively by some terrorism-afflicted countries, like “trial incognito”, could be reviewed for possible adoption. Furthermore, the judges need to be covered with impenetrable security shields. Investigators and prosecutors, as well as the witnesses should also be extended fool-proof security. The superior courts should support the antiterrorism courts in every possible way to enable them to deal with the terrorism cases without fear.
The everyday traffic mess in Pakistan Traffic in Pakistan is an interesting and confrontational phenomenon. The traffic wardens do not believe in “wardening” in the real sense of the word but in disciplining drivers with a stick. On the other side, the drivers do not want wardens IMDAD HUSSAIN
warden on a bike, told me he often chased young motorcyclists for violating signals, over-speeding and Despite frightening levels of traffic one-wheeling. He annoyingly said, congestion and accidents, the relationship between the wardens and ‘The boys like to tease wardens… and the wardened is deteriorating fast. No they [the boys] always drive many times faster than a warden… and only places in the country are more apt a few of them could be punished.’ than roads and intersections to Helplessly he added, ‘But what can I observe the deepening fracture do? Their parents do not stop them between the wardens and the from over-speeding and onewardened. In the last week of wheeling. If a boy is arrested, his December 2012, my taxi driver in parents go to the police station with Saddar, Karachi did not stop at a number of traffic signals. I asked him “sifarish” and instead of scolding their why he was violating signals. ‘Because children they accuse the police of corruption.’ The last heartless I am not driving in Punjab,’ he said laughingly. ‘In Punjab, people fear the comment of the warden perturbed me. ‘That is why they die. I do not police. In Karachi, police fear the care. Let them die.’ people. They do not dare to stop us,’ On a Saturday evening in April he stated proudly. I remembered my rickshaw driver in 2013, many drivers completely Peshawar who expressed similar views ignored the warden on the Garhi Shahu intersection. The warden in December 2011: ‘There should be no signals… there should be no traffic shouted in order to be heard by police, they only create trouble… they drivers. Then he started abusing, ‘go are a problem… they only grab government salaries. It is unfair.’ The next evening another rickshaw driver in Peshawar told me that he never bothered about traffic signals. He would not look at the signals while driving. I was surprised when he told me he was safe signal-free. In an evening in April 2013, I stopped at an intersection near my home in Dharampura. A traffic warden with his nose masked was standing in the center of the intersection, manually guiding traffic. to hell, you law breakers.’ I was seeing and hearing all this. I was also waiting He stands there everyday, for hours, for him to hint at me to pass. controlling the traffic coming from Meanwhile, the driver of the car three sides and tragically ending up behind my car maximally pressed the creating a mess. That evening, in a horn and when I did not move, he few minutes, he fought with five motorcyclists and three car drivers. If yelled at me without lifting his hand he was not vigilant every moment, the away from the horn: ‘Move… how many hours do you want me to stop drivers, in a hurry, would pass their behind you?’ He also asked me if I was vehicles over him. A driver in a car intoxicated. I kept quiet. I pointed to parallel to my car loudly abused the the warden but the driver ordered me warden: ‘They are rascals.’ A young to pass the car over the warden. I got boy on a Honda CD 70 agreed: ‘They disturbed and drove my car. The only make money.’ The traffic signals warden did not stop me. Instead, he at Dharampura bridge hardly work, sarcastically said that he was waiting how would they work without for only this excess of mine. I tried to electricity? explain that I was being pushed by the A traffic warden told me there was no system to operate the Dharampura drivers behind me. But before I could explain, the warden angrily said, ‘get bridge intersection signals. He also away.’ told me most of the traffic signals in In July 2012, an inspector asked a low income parts of Lahore were wagon driver not to stop in Batti inoperative. His colleague, another
Chowk in Lahore. The driver did not comply and stopped for a while to pick up a passenger. The inspector took it as an insult. He snatched a bamboo stick from a passing donkey cart. Abusing the wagon driver loudly, he ran towards the wagon. The driver put the wagon into gear but failed to get away. The inspector arrived, grabbed the collar of the driver, opened the door, pulled him out of the wagon, and started beating him with the stick. Not content with abusing and beating, the inspector slapped and kicked the driver. I was in the wagon and asked the passengers to stop the inspector. No one agreed. I got out of the wagon and asked the inspector to stop beating the driver. I told him it was not in his powers to treat a driver like this. He turned to me and said, ‘have you been appointed DIG on me? Go, get into the vehicle. Otherwise, I will do the same to you.’ I did not confront him. I
With this much finger pointing, with this much inability to be self-critical, I wonder where the gulf between the wardens and the wardened would take us was surprised some of the passengers were happy with the thrashing of the driver. On the way to Sheikhupura some of the passengers were asking the driver to be careful in the future. None of them criticised the inspector. I often travel by rickshaw in Lahore. Rickshaw drivers and wardens have a highly uncomfortable relationship; they almost hate each other. Pointing to a warden, a rickshaw driver told me: ‘since they have come, the whole traffic system has been ruined.’ Another rickshaw driver accused all traffic wardens of giving challans to earn money. A friend of mine drives his own rickshaw. He recently told me that rickshaw drivers enjoy teasing wardens by not following the traffic rules. But he was not critical of rickshaw drivers. He criticised traffic wardens heavily. ‘If a rickshaw driver does not have money, the wardens will
take anything from mobile oil to mobile phone.’ I asked a newly appointed inspector of traffic about the one change he would like to make to the traffic of Lahore. ‘If I had the power to decide, I would not allow any mosquito on the road.’ I asked him what he meant. He said: ‘the rickshaws.’ In 2012, when I got my driving license, I asked three senior traffic officers about traffic management. All of them came to the conclusion of no possibility of traffic management. One of them suggested: ‘only a stick can manage these people.’ Another said that ‘those who are beaten behave well on the roads.’ In the evening of that day I asked a few car and rickshaw drivers of their views about what caused traffic problems such as congestions and accidents. Startlingly, all of them accentuated the point that the traffic problems were due to traffic wardens. Traffic in Pakistan is an interesting and confrontational phenomenon. The traffic wardens do not believe in “wardening” in the real sense of the word but in disciplining drivers with a stick. On the other side, the drivers do not want wardens. It is a crystal clear fact that the relation between the two is unavoidable and indispensable and at the same time ironically much troubled and unhealthy, stipulating an immediate need to review the patterned values and ethical foundations of this relationship. This indictment of the traffic mess in Pakistan, it seems, is a problem related to socialisation. General behaviour and attitude, cemented well in human nature, need to be brought to the center of the traffic governance debate in Pakistan. It will not happen overnight. Rather, this relationship requires a gradual, systematic and long-term ethical policy which is shared mutually by the executives as well as people on the roads. Otherwise, the wardens and the wardened will continue repelling and victimising each other. With this much finger pointing, with this much inability to be self-critical, I wonder where the gulf between the wardens and the wardened would take us. THE WRITER IS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT FORMAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, LAHORE
Obama’s murderous game of drones and the Left JEFFREY ST. CLAIR At last we know. The mysterious legal authority for Barack Obama’s killer drone program flows from another administration with an elastic interpretation of executive power: that of Richard Nixon. In a chilling 16-page dossier known simply as the White Paper, one of Obama’s statutory brains at the Justice Department cites the 1969 secret bombing of Cambodia as a legal rationale justifying drone strikes, deep inside nations, against which the United States is not officially at war. This startling disclosure is drafted in the antiseptic prose of an insurance adjuster announcing the denial of a claim based on a pre-existing condition. Yet, the bombing of Cambodia (aka Operation Menu), which involved more than 3,000 air strikes, was almost universally acknowledged as a war crime. Now the Obama administration has officially enshrined that atrocity as precedent for its own killing rampages. Since Obama’s election, the CIA has overseen nearly 320 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, killing more than 3,000 people, as many as 900 of them civilians. Among the dead are at least 176 children. Assassination was never this easy, never so risk-free. George W. Bush was mocked by liberals for
ECP’s incompetence and overseas Pakistanis As an overseas Pakistani, I voice my utter disappointment at the ambiguity surrounding overseas voting for the upcoming elections. For over a year there has been talk about implementing this and for the past few months in particular there have been multiple emotional highs with the Supreme Court positively ordering the
Since Obama’s election, the CIA has overseen nearly 320 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, killing thousands. In Obama’s game of drones, the atrocities in the name of empire seem consciously geared to some deep political algorithm of power and death calling himself the Decider. Bush deployed this pathetic bit of oil slang to defend himself against accusations that Cheney and his coterie of Neo-Cons were calling the shots in the Iraq war. But was Bush’s posturing any more absurd than the image of Obama piously consulting the homilies of Aquinas, as he personally checks off the names on his drone kill list and watches streaming videos of the writhing bodies shredded by Hellfire missiles? Bush’s murderous psyche at least presented itself for analysis and explication. Perhaps W’s blood lust stemmed from a Freudian fixation on Saddam’s pathetic attempt to off his father in Kuwait City. Perhaps it was warped by spasms of subconscious guilt over allowing 9/11 to occur on his watch. What, however, is the driving force behind Obama’s savagery? Unlike Bush, who tended to show revealing glimpses of emotional strain, Obama operates with the icy rectitude of a political sociopath. In Obama’s game of drones, the atrocities in the name of empire seem consciously geared to some deep political algorithm of
ECP to demonstrate integrity in this regard and rejecting any excuses in facilitating overseas Pakistanis in utilising their rights, which make up 9.1% of Pakistan’s overall vote bank. Still, I do not want to lose hope in the credibility of the institution. Yes, I am aware that it has known about the elections since its inception and thus should have planned to allow 3.7 million overseas Pakistanis to make use of their votes. Yes, I am aware that there may be a slight bias because the majority of overseas Pakistanis are likely to support one party. Yes, I am aware that there may be fear amongst certain people within the institution due to their own political allegiances. But, surely is the ECP as independent as it ought to be in one of the most critical elections in Pakistan’s history? The bottom line is, I am tired of being asked by fellow overseas Pakistanis about how they can vote when it is something which should be communicated top-down. I am fed up
power and death. The Left remains largely insensate to the moral and constitutional transgressions being committed by their champion, leaving only the faintly ludicrous figure of Rand Paul to offer official denunciations against these malignant operations. For his troubles, Paul’s admirable filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan, master of the drones, to head the CIA is ridiculed as an exercise in paranoia by the likes of Frank Rich and Lawrence O’Donnell. The professional Left, from the progressive caucus to the robotic minions of Moveon.org, lodges no objections and launch no protests over the administration’s acts of sanctimonious violence against the empire’s enemies. Worse, they behave like political eunuchs, offering groveling tributes and degrading supplications to their Master, even as Obama defiles their ideological aspirations. The president has offered us a master class in political mesmerism, transforming the anti-war Left into supine functionaries of the
of the negligently unclear postal ballot form which is being circulated and for some reason only allows the postal ballot for military personnel, government officials and their families. I am furious at being told by an embassy official that in order to vote I would have to fly to Pakistan when I know that a friend of mine has asked his (political) family to cast the vote on his behalf. It is my right to vote and it is the ECPs duty to ensure that this is done through legitimate channels. The only thing that the ECP was supposed to think about was how to ensure that I and the other 3.7 million Pakistanis would be able to vote – not whether they would be able to. Even the “how” question was not that hard as there are many examples of other election commissions around the world catering for this through their embassies. I know that I am likely to lose out on my vote due to the incompetence of the ECP. However, what I am even more extremely uneasy with is that if
imperial management team. The cyber-Left is kept rigidly in line by the architects of liberal opinion. From David Corn to Rachel Maddow, the progressive press acts in sinister harmony with the administration’s neoliberal agenda. They seduously ignore Obama’s constitutional depredations, and instead devote acres of airspace to the faux clashes over sequestration and gay marriage. Night after night, we are presented with sideshows, what Hitchcock called the McGuffin in his films, the dramatic diversions designed to distract the audience’s attention from the real game being played. Meanwhile, the liberal commentariat is balefully complacent to the rapacity of Obama’s remote control death squadrons, even in the face of somber evidence regarding the drone program’s criminal nature. Raid after raid, kill after kill, ruin after ruin, they remain silent. But their silence only serves to emphasise their complicity, their consciousness of guilt. Their fingers too are stained by distant blood. Even Nixon, the ultimate enforcer, was rocked by insubordinates defecting from his
the ECP could not handle 3.7 million votes, then can it be trusted to handle the votes of those on Pakistani soil? SARA ASLAM LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
International Coverage When I started reading The Spokesman, I was impressed by your choice of international opinion pieces. You have certainly brought forth the alternative narrative in global affairs. We are bombarded by a particular narrative by not only the major news organisations dominating the international media but also by our own local media outlets. This narrative only reinforces the dirty games being played by the powerful countries and the interests they protect and promote. This narrative is obviously and patently false. Yet the media keeps parroting within this framework. Thanks for bringing the anti-power
regime, aides and staffers who reached their limit and resigned in disgust. One of them was Roger Morris. Morris, an occasional contributor to CounterPunch, served on the National Security Council during LBJ’s administration and continued after Nixon’s election under Henry Kissinger. But Morris reached his limit in the spring of 1970, resigning over the covert bombing of Cambodia. How times have changed. Where are similar figures of conscience in the Obama White House, or even the Democratic Party? Where are the leaks and resignations? Perhaps this is the ultimate object lesson on display in the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning. Internal dissent, regardless of its legal and moral standing, shall not be tolerated. Indeed, it will be considered sedition and will be smothered by the supreme sanction of the government. Acts that were once considered outrages against conscience are now routine. Welcome to the age of Murder.Gov.
narrative to the fore. I’m glad to see that other national newspapers have started following your lead.
would he be able to deliver ? Let us hope he does. Recently they recruited Razkars to spread the message of PTI and put everything on the line. ALI JAVED The PTI ladies were enthusastic RAWALPINDI about the chances of the bat scoring some long hits. They expect sixes and fours raining. The battle field is all Feedback from the web setr for the buggle to announce the competition. The game must begin in right earnest. The dream must come true. Batting for PTI This is the last bastion of hope and Ms. Hafsa Siddique h done a good ob beacon of light in the darkness. They must win the toss and let the on this write up. But she has forgotten the main thing that in the opposition go in first to bat. They have great bowlers who can restrict game of Cricket there are eleven players who bat and bowl in order to the flow of runs. It will be an easy win. and gathering a great team is a win. The winds have changed the difficult task. Imran Khan has failed direction. in this first task. How can he effect JAVAID BASHIR change in these circumstances. I will be surprised if he can succeed in LAHORE this attempt. Although he likes solo flights, but it Please email your letters to is not possible to do everything. he firstname.lastname@example.org or post has promised all things to everybody. them to our address in Islamabad.
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
New promises for old Manifestos look great on paper but they have been seldom implemented ownership and transparency of resource allocation. PML-Q, in its manifesto, promises to combat extremism through the establishment of a National Security Council and an effective Counter JAMAL SHAH Terrorism Strategy. PML-Q seeks to enhance synchronisation between the civil and military systems, the center The Sustainable Development Policy and provinces, and within various law Institute (SDPI) recently launched a enforcement agencies. The PML-Q seminar series to critically evaluate manifestos of major political parties of aspires to build an inclusive, tolerant and pluralistic society. The party Pakistan. Presenting the political manifesto of the last ruling party, PPP hopes to achieve this by providing representatives said that the party was free education to all, forming a special parliamentary committee to able to deliver on most of its address all legitimate interests of the manifesto points but could not public, and, interestingly, by implement some promises due to providing a comprehensive interventions from certain quarters. insurance policy for journalists. The PPP election manifesto 2013 The ANP envisions a “Pur-Aman guarantees the provision of basic Pakistan”. The party is committed to need to every citizen, empowerment evolve a national consensus for peace of all citizens, inclusive growth, by engaging in a dialogue with infrastructure development for the disturbed groups within conflict areas. future, a new social contract, Moreover, the party pledges to provide ensuring security and positive equitable social and economic rights engagement with the international to all federating units of Pakistan. The community. The PPP pledges to increase education expenditure to 4.5 ANP is committed to increase the percent of GDP and would bridge the education budget to 6 percent of GDP. The party promises to provide free public-private and regional gaps in education to all in public schools the quality of education through the (including uniforms, textbooks and establishment of the National stipends to female students). Education Standard Council. The MQM manifesto titled According to the party, the BISP has “Empowering People” promises power proved to be a successful social to the people to achieve progress, protection system and the PPP plans prosperity and stability in the country. to double the monthly payments under the program if elected to office. Effective implementation of local government system is MQM’s top Health spending would be increased priority. The manifesto of MQM to 5 percent of GDP and it will bring tackles a wide range of issues down the population growth rate including education, health, economy, from 2 to 1.6 percent by 2018. governance, corruption, terrorism and The other major political party, poverty alleviation in Pakistan. The PML-N, presented its manifesto MQM considers health and education towards the end of April. The party seeks to revive the economy during its as the most crucial sectors, and promises the allocation of 5 percent of five-year tenure through proGDP for education and 5 percent for investment and pro-business policies with a planned growth rate of about 6 health. The party will widen the tax net by applying agricultural income percent (double the present growth rate). The party claims that the tax-to- throughout the country and addressing the leakages and GDP ratio will be increased to 15 percent, and investment to GDP ratio loopholes in various sectors. The MQM promise radical reforms in the will be pushed up to 20 percent education sector particularly in respectively. textbooks where hate material would To curb the energy crisis, the party be removed which is promoting promises to invest USD 20 billion in power sector to generate 10,000 MW extremism in the country. The missing element in every party’s of electricity (half of it from coal). manifesto appeared to be a deliverable Expenditure on education would be plan of action as to how the party is increased to 4 percent of GDP going to implement its policy (through such initiatives such as statements. Moreover, the promises Daanish schools). The health sector seem more of a repetition of the spending would be increased to 2 unfulfilled-promises that were made percent of GDP for subsidisation of health care through measures such as five-years ago. The manifestos of the parties in power for the last five years the Medical Insurance Card system. were unconvincing as they made little The PTI manifesto session briefly elaborated all the sectors that need to reference to lessons learnt from past experience and focused on discussing be prioritised like education, energy, future solutions. health, economy, rural governance Pakistan’s major political parties systems, institutional reform, demonstrate a clear understanding of expenditures reform and revenue the issues and problems at hand. reform. PTI envisioned converting Pakistan from being merely a security However, they are not able to provide any realistic solutions. The political state to a welfare state. The party parties, before the election, are representatives claimed to introduce motivated to work for the betterment fiscal reforms in order to increase of the people, but their policies are spending in the social sector, particularly health and education. PTI seldom implemented during their tenure. The implementation of policy will decentralise the health requires political will. Unfortunately governance system, and promote this is something that is missing in the alternate energy. Moreover, the party established political parties. proposes to form a rural governance system, managed by village councils, THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER in order to increase community
Sarabjit saga: glorifying a terrorist In many ways, the flare up of emotions over Singh's death again brings to the fore the neuroses that marks relations between the two nuclear-armed, estranged South Asian siblings
point. They value the sanctity of human lives and prefer to exchange prisoners instead of dead bodies. There has been a massive outrage in The Indian government has been India over the death of Sarabjit Singh, fueling the fire by issuing undiplomatic an Indian man convicted of terrorism statements. But the main opposition and genocide by Pakistan, who was attacked last week by fellow inmates. A party BJP has been increasingly hostile, accusing Pakistan of “murder” and lot of anger and fury has been played out on Indian TV news channels. Some blaming the Indian government for not of them described Singh, who died in a doing more to ensure the safety of Singh. The opposition believes that the Lahore hospital, as a "martyr". national security is an area over which It appears to be an un-meditated it can easily attack the Congress-led crime and the blame rests upon jail government. wardens who were negligent in This is not the end of the sad story. breaking the fight between the India is showering all sorts of love and prisoners. However, Pakistan did affection to pay tribute to their terrorist. everything possible to defuse the The shallowness of patriotism was at its situation by taking a quick and gaudiest display when Indian Prime exemplary action against prison Minister Manmohan Singh termed officials who were immediately Sarabjit Singh as ‘a brave son of India’. suspended from their duty. An FIR of The force of patriotism can become murder under section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code has already been registered truly evil if it is exploited as it has been against the accused killers. The Punjab done in this case. When it works this way, it may have adverse effects. caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi Countries may demand too much of has ordered an inquiry by a judge of their citizens in the name of patriotism. Lahore High Court. Therefore, to abolish war, it is necessary India reacted to the whole incident to abolish frenzied patriotism. This with a spirit of vengeance and overdose of Indian patriotism, it is revengefulness. As the body of Sarabjit feared, can damage the peace process was being cremated, a Pakistani between the two nations living a cat prisoner Sanaullah in the Jammu Jail was attacked by an Indian prisoner who and dog life since independence. Sarabjit, a convicted self-confessed said that he had taken revenge for terrorist found guilty of slaughtering 14 Sarabjit. This ‘tit for tat’ settlement of innocent people, was accorded a state scores was a premeditated act funeral followed by the Indian committed with the tacit approval of jail authorities. The Indian government government’s announcement of three days of mourning. Sarabjit’s family was wanted to pacify its agitated public awarded Indian Rs 10 million ‘for his perhaps. The foreign analysts are distinguished services for India’ and convinced that the Indians are another special grant of Indian Rs 2.5 determined to present a Pakistani’s million from the Prime Minister Relief dead body in return of Sarabjit’s. A cross reference from the Palestine Israel Fund. It means he was posthumously paid Indian Rs 892,857 as a reward for conflict regarding the exchange of killing each Pakistani. Rahul Gandhi prisoners between them is a case in
took so much pain to travel to Amritsar to attend the cremation rituals of a convicted terrorist. It is interesting to note that the two major political parties of India, the Congress and BJP, are vying with each other to attract antiPakistan voters. The venom in the voice of Indian intellectual Javed Akhtar was unmistakable when he said, ‘we can forget Kargil but not Sarabjit Singh’. When the patriotism of a nation degenerates to such a cheap level of hatred that mass killers are glorified as national heros, it is time to worry indeed. The collective conscience of India seems to have gone on leave. In the case of Ajmal Kasab they felt that he deserved to be hanged because he had killed many people. When it comes to the case of Sarabjit, they dub him as a war hero. The Indian authorities have impliedly owned Sarabjit and his acts of terrorism committed in Pakistan. They are discriminating between the Indian and Pakistani victims of tragedies whereas a true humanitarian cannot sub-categorise the deaths of innocent civilians irrespective of their nationality or religious background. Pakistan, on the other hand, had an unequivocal stance on Ajmal Kasab and his acts were condemned by Pakistani officials. The authorities, taking a principled stance, did not even opt to request for the body of Kasab after he was hanged. This shows that the government of Pakistan had nothing to do with the acts of Kasab and his fellows. It is pertinent to take notice of Pakistani electronic media’s role in turning the tables on Pakistan. It appeared as if they had been paid to tow the Indian line. Here is a set of Breaking News that was broadcast
suspending the routine transmissions; Sarabjit family issued visit visa… Sarabjit’s family arrives at Wahga border… Sarabjit’s family at Jinnah hospital… Sarabjit family praying at Nankana Sahib… The family going back to India… and so on. The Pakistani media had given a celebrity status to the family of a terrorist whereas the Indian media has been constantly beating the war trumpets since the incident. The craze to break the news first has seriously dented the quality of reporting on our news channels. Will the Pakistani media provide the microscopic details about the Pakistani victim Sanaullah and his family now? In many ways, the flare up of emotions over Singh's death again brings to the fore the neuroses that marks relations between the two nuclear-armed, estranged South Asian siblings. The two nuclear power nations of South Asia are literally sitting on a pile of explosives and apparently a petty incident could trigger a war between them. It is relevant to pay due attention to an apprehensive report on Pak-India’s underlying ‘war-initiatives’, so to say. According to a US-based Rand Corp. study, an Indo-Pakistani nuclear exchange would immediately kill two million living souls, and injure or kill 100 million afterwards, pollute the Indus River and send clouds of radioactive dust around the globe. It is the responsibility of the International community to find ways to avert a nuclear holocaust in South Asia. And of course, it is the responsibility of the leadership of the two countries to prefer diplomacy over war. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE JOURNALIST
America’s politics of convenience: view from India NARAYAN LAKSHMAN
An ever-morphing concept of “terrorism” sustains the US wars and its economy
After the Boston Marathon bombers struck on April 15, killing four in their wake and injuring 264, the initial caution about ethno-religious stereotyping of “Islamic extremists” appears to have given way to a freewheeling discourse that seeks to firmly tie Muslims to global terror plots. Before this rather crude logic acquires a national echo and, similar to the post-9/11 scenario, fuels hate crimes against ethnic minorities such as Muslims and Sikhs, it is important to give context to America’s cynical application of the notion of “terrorism”. Particularly we may ask: who qualifies as a terrorist in American eyes, and how does the political leadership of this nation shape that perception? In the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombing, ugly evidence emerged of how ethnic stereotyping tears apart civilisational fabric. Misdirected racist vitriol saw Indian-American Sunil Tripathi falsely named as a suspect by hordes of Reddit and Twitter users. One can only imagine the wretched situation of the Tripathi family as one of their own faced a social media lynching, only to be told a week later that a body found in Rhode Island’s Providence Harbour was Sunil’s. Then the Federal Bureau of Investigation aided the steady, trickling flow of background details on the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan (26, killed in a gunfight with police) and Dzhokhar (19, in custody but hospitalised with severe injuries), suspects in the bombing. Within days, the media unearthed the Tsarnaev link with Chechnya, Dagestan and Kyrgyzstan and a cascade of public commentary proclaimed the Islamist connection established. President Barack Obama kept the rhetoric moving along smoothly when he tacitly approved labelling
what happened in Boston an “act... of terror”. But was it really? There are two problems with America’s eagerness to call the admittedly despicable attack on civilians “terrorism”. The first is replete with historic irony. What happened on 9/11 on the US’ eastern seaboard is often seen as the culmination of Washington’s engagement in Afghanistan during the 1980s, particularly the CIA’s shadowy Operation Cyclone, through which hundreds of millions of dollars were pumped into the coffers of Afghan fighters battling the forces of Mohammad Najibullah. While some insist the CIA’s funding did not cross the red lines between the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign or Arab fighters, questions were raised about whether the same weapons and training that flooded Afghanistan during that era came back to haunt the US in the form of an invigorated al Qaeda and Taliban in the late 1990s and 2000s. Freeze frame and switch to another reel, this time the Russian republic of Chechnya in the early 21st century, a land in which the US’ infamous “War on Terror” was inexplicably suspended. Despite the grisly episodes of the 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis, the 2004 Beslan school siege and several other “terror” attacks associated with Chechen separatists, the US, led by the neocon-staffed American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), chose to turn a blind eye to events in the region. Back in 2004, John Laughland of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group explained that ACPC members represented “the backbone of the U.S. foreign policy establishment,” and included Richard Perle, a former Pentagon advisor, and James Woolsey, former CIA director who backed George W. Bush’s foreign
policy. The influential group heavily promoted the idea that “the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin’s Russia, and cultivates support for the Chechen cause by emphasising the seriousness of human rights violations in the tiny Caucasian republic.” The ACPC then upped the pressure against the Putin regime even more in August 2004, when it ‘welcomed the award of political asylum in the US, and a US-government funded grant, to Ilyas Akhmadov, Foreign Minister in the opposition Chechen government, and a man Moscow describes as a terrorist’. Was Washington happy to countenance violent groups so long as rival Russia and its intractable President Putin faced the heat? In insisting Moscow achieve a political, rather than military, solution, wasn’t the US administration actually calling on Mr Putin to negotiate with terrorists, a policy the US “resolutely rejects” elsewhere? The ACPC’s soft-pedalling on terror apart, evidence of the US’ unwillingness to crack down on Chechen extremism came in the form of one of the most high-profile US law enforcement successes in the days leading up to 9/11: the capture of Zacarias Moussaoui in Minnesota on 16 August 2001. Whistleblower Coleen Rowley wrote recently that not only did her former employers at the FBI, CIA Director George Tenet, and other counterterrorism experts balk at allowing a search of Moussaoui’s laptop and other property but, more disturbingly, they brushed aside a critical April 2001 memo by erstwhile FBI Assistant Director Dale Watson. That memo, entitled “Bin Laden/Ibn Khattab Threat Reporting”, warned about ‘significant
and urgent’ intelligence to suggest ‘serious operational planning’ for terrorism attacks by ‘Sunni extremists with links to Ibn al Khattab, an extremist leader in Chechnya, and to Usama Bin Laden’, reported the New York Times’ Philip Shenon in his insightful 2011 story of “The Terrible Missed Chance”. Even after the FBI’s attaché in Paris reported that French spy agencies had evidence suggesting Moussaoui was a recruiter for Khattab and despite senior intelligence officials admitting that ‘the system was blinking red’ with the prospect of an imminent terror attack, no one seemed to want to acknowledge that Moussaoui, Khattab and bin Laden were brothers in bloodshed. In the Boston investigation, Dzhokhar is now said to have indicated that he and Tamerlan were disenchanted with US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - their Chechen background cannot be discounted here - and this may have driven their ghastly actions. If this is established as the true motive then history would have come full circle. That will - or at least it ought to - provoke more questions about the cynical manipulation of facts and an ever-morphing concept of “terrorism” that sustain the US’ wars and its economy. A second sophisticated obfuscation of “terrorism” in the US is that it is liberally applied when a person or group perceived as alien in terms of race, religion or citizenship is held responsible for an act of lethal violence, but much less so in other contexts. In this case, the discovery that the Tsarnaevs were Muslim led to an almost triumphalist cheer in some conservative corners of the country. To give this odd overzealousness some context, consider the case of gun crime which, some such as Michael Cohen of The Guardian have argued,
gets a relatively muted reaction from Americans compared to the random act of terror that hits the mainland from time to time, despite the latter’s far greater toll on human life. Approximately 30,000 Americans die of gun violence every year compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks. On the very same day of the Boston Marathon bombing, 11 Americans were murdered by guns. In the last four months alone 3,531 Americans were killed by guns - even more than the number killed on 9/11. Bizarrely, recent mass killings - including the Sikh Temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and the school shootings at Newtown, Connecticut - by mostly white, gun-toting young men, did nothing to prevent conservatives in the US Congress from defeating a bill proposing rudimentary checks on gun buyers’ backgrounds before arming them. In none of these cases did Second Amendment-warriors attach the “terrorist” label to the perpetrators. Why are James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Wade Page, and numerous others merely alluded to as “disturbed individuals”? The Tsarnaevs may be no different from these mass killers, some such as Glen Greenwald have argued, and all of these men are likely to have been driven by a combination of mental illness, societal alienation and mostly apolitical rage. While a robust debate on the application of “terrorism” would help the American media and public avoid the frequent retreat to racist stereotyping that we have seen in recent weeks, a failure to do so would only feed the US’ fatal politics of convenience and extinguish the prospect of change that could make a real difference. (THE HINDU)
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
Israel strikes Syria again, rocking Damascus
German rulers plunge in poll amid scandals BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives plunged to their lowest rating in seven months in a leading opinion poll on Sunday as a tax evasion scandal embroiled an ally and their Bavarian sister party faced questions about nepotism. Support for Merkel's Christian Democrats and Bavarian partner theChristian Social Union fell three percentage points from a week earlier to 37 percent, their lowest ranking since October, the Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed. Last month, one of Germany's most admired sports managers, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, said he had voluntarily reported himself to authorities in a tax evasion investigation that exposed Merkel's government to criticism it is lenient on tax cheats. –AGENCIES
BEIRUT: Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, a Western intelligence source said, in an attack that shook Damascus with a series of powerful blasts and drove columns of fire into the night sky. Israel declined comment but Syria accused the Jewish state of striking a military facility just north of the capital - one which its jets had first targeted three months ago. Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar alAssad and an arch-enemy for Israel, urged states in the region to resist the Israeli attack. People living near the Jamraya base spoke of explosions over several hours in various places near Damascus, including a town housing senior officials: "Night turned into day," one man said. The Western intelligence source told Reuters the operation hit
Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Lebanon's Hezbollah, a similar target to the two previous strikes this year, which have been defended as justifiable by Israel's ally the United States: "In last night's attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah," the intelligence source said. An Israeli official had confirmed a similar raid on Friday. In Lebanon, Hezbollah declined immediate comment. Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline of Damascus while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts. Syrian state media accused Israel of attacking in response to Assad's forces' recent successes against rebels who, with Western approval, have been trying to
Israel has been locked in a cold standoff with Damascus, fought Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 and
topple him for two years. In 40 years since a war with a Syria then ruled by Assad's father,
Iran calls for stand against Israel after Syria attack DUBAI : Iran called on the region to unite against Israel after a reported attack on Syriaand said it was ready to train the Damascus government's army. Israel carried out its second air strike in days on Syria early on Sunday, targeting Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Lebanon's Hezbollah, a Western intelligence source said. Tehran on Sunday denied the attack was aimed at "its missiles destined for Hezbollah resistance fighters in Lebanon," according to the Islamic state's English-language Press TV. Iran has supported its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his efforts to suppress a rebellion that has raged for more than two years and which Tehran and Damascus say is being waged by Western-backed "terrorists". Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast urged countries in the region to stand against the "assault", the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. Iranian army ground forces commander Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said on Sunday Iran was ready to support its ally. –AGENCIES
BD threatens to go tougher against Islamist group DHAKA: Hours after deadly clashes between Islamists and law enforcers that left at least four dead and over 100 injured, many critically, Bangladesh's ruling party asked hundreds of thousands of protesters of a Islamic group to "leave Dhaka by evening or face stern action". Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League ( AL) party on Sunday evening issued at a press briefing on Sunday the warning to the Islamists who fought pitched battles with law enforcers for more than six hours. At least 100 people including law enforcers, Islamists and journalists were injured in the violent clashes that left four people dead. "We've requested them (the Islamists) to leave Dhaka by evening after holding their rally peacefully, or else the government will go for tougher necessary," AL General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam told the reporters at the press briefing. –AGENCIES
Ruling party leads in early counting of Malaysia's polls KUALA LUMPUR: The ruling Barisan Nasional is leading in the early tally of the Malaysia's general election on Sunday, official polling showed. A live update on the official website of the Election Commission put the Barisan leading the opposition People's Alliance 26 to 6 in parliamentary seats by 10 p.m. local time. The local news portal put Barisan's lead as 25 to 13. It is still in the early stage of counting as a total of 222 parliamentary seats are contested in the election. –AGENCIES
South Korean president to visit United States SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-hye left Seoul on Sunday for a five-day trip to the United States that will include a White House summit. The meeting Tuesday with President Barack Obama is expected to focus on coordinating their ideas on how to deal with North Korea, and other bilateral issues. The South Korean leader is also scheduled to address a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday. President Park will first stop in New York to meet Monday with South Korean-born U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. President Park, who is also heading a delegation of more than 50 South Korean business leaders, will stop in Los Angeles Thursday to meet with Korean entrepreneurs. –AGENCIES
is threatening to attack Iran, accusing Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. –AGENCIES
Israeli strikes aim to support terrorists: Syria BEIRUT: Syria has condemned the Israeli airstrikes against targets around Damascus, saying the attacks aim "to give directmilitary support to terrorist groups" fighting the government. The Syrian Foreign Ministry also said Sunday in a letter sent to the United Nations and the UN Security Council that the "Israeli aggression" killed and wounded several people and "caused widespread destruction." –AGENCIES
Bomb hits mly convoy in Somalia
DHAKA: Supporters of 18 opposition parties take part in a mass rally at Motijheel area in Dhaka. Bangladesh's main opposition in parliament slapped a 48-hour ultimatum on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to announce the restoration of a non-party caretaker government system. –WIRE SERVICE
North Korea says no plan to use American as bargaining chip SEOUL : North Korea said on Sunday it had no intention of using an American it sentenced to hard labor for 15 years as a bargaining chip in talks with the United States. North Korea sentenced Kenneth Bae, a Korean American who traveled to visit North Korea last November, on Thursday for what is said were crimes against the state. North Korea has in the past used detained American as bargaining counters in dealings with the United States. But the North's state news agency dismissed speculation it might do so again. "Some media of the US said that the DPRK tried to use Bae's case as a political bargaining chip. This is ridiculous and wrong guess," the KCNA news agency reported, citing a Foreign Ministry spokesman. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name. Bae, 44, was born in South Korea but is a naturalized US citizen. His sentencing comes after two months of saber-rattling that saw North Korea threaten the United
States and South Korea with nuclear war. Human rights activists in South Korea say Bae may have been arrested for taking pictures of starving children. A US official said last week Washington was not looking for an envoy to try to secure Bae's release. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States had sought in recent years to break out of a pattern of having to resolve repeated crises with North Korea through deals. The US State Department urged North Korea to grant Bae amnesty and immediate release. The North's ministry spokesman said the Bae case showed the United States had not changed its "hostile" policy. "As long as the US hostile policy goes on, Americans' illegal acts should be countered with strict legal sanctions. This is a conclusion drawn by the DPRK," the KCNA news agency reported. In the past, prominent Americans including former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have traveled to North Korea to try to free detained Americans. –AGENCIES
BD building collapse toll tops 600 DH AK A: More than 600 have been bodies recovered from the garment-factory building that collapsed well over a week ago, police said Sunday as the grim recovery work continued in one of the worst industrial accidents ever. Police said Sunday evening that the death toll had reached 610. More than 200 bodies have been recovered since Wednesday, when authorities said only 149 people had been listed as missing. The stench of decomposing bodies remains amid the broken concrete of the eight-story Rana Plaza building, and it is anyone's guess how many victims remain to be recovered. The April 24 disaster is likely the worst garmentfactory accident ever, and there have been few industrial accidents of any kind with a higher death toll. –AGENCIES
MOGADISHU: A suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a convoy carrying Qatari officials through the center of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Sunday, killing at least eight Somalis, officials said. The visiting delegation of Qataris, who were travelling in the Somali interior minister's bullet-proof vehicle, were "safe", a security officer told Reuters, without going into further detail. The minister was not in the car at the time. The Islamist rebel group al Shabaab said it was behind the attack and threatened further strikes against Somalia's government, which it called a "puppet" of Western powers. "More explosions are on the way," al Shabaab's military spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters by telephone. The al Qaeda-linked rebels, who want to impose their version of Islamic law or sharia on the country, have kept up a campaign of guerrilla-style attacks since African peacekeepers pushed them out of bases in the city and other major towns.
Western powers, long worried Somalia is a launch pad for militant Islam in east Africa and beyond, fear it could slide back into chaos if security forces cannot cement security gains. The blast tore through the busy 'Kilometre 4' road junction in the center of Mogadishu's commercial and administrative district, hurling metal debris over a wide area. Nearby buildings were blackened and power cables hung loose from poles. It was not clear in the confusion that followed the blast how many people had been killed. A coordinator for Mogadishu's emergency services said ambulances had carried away the 15 bodies. Earlier, the chairman of the city's Hodan district, where the attack took place, told reporters at the blast site eight people had died. "A silver 4x4 sped around the roundabout blaring its horn as it chased the convoy," college student Abdullahi Ismail told Reuters at the scene, nursing a gash in his forehead. "It hit the last car in the convoy." –AGENCIES
French M51 missile selfdestroys shortly after launch PARIS: A French M51 ballistic missile self-destructed off the coast of Brittany during a test on Sunday, according to media reports. The missile "self-destructed during its first propulsion phase... for an unknown reason," Lieutenant Commander Lionel Delort, a spokesman for the Atlantic Naval Prefecture, was quoted by AFP as saying. "It was a failure, the reasons will be determined by an investigation," said the spokesman. The test-fire was carried out from the Vigilant strategic nuclear submarine in the Bay of Audierne at 0730 GMT. The missile was not carrying a nuclear warhead and landed in the ocean after its destruction. The M51 was put into operation in 2010 after five successful test launches and has a range of 8,000-10,000 km. –AGENCIES
Israel’s airstrikes against Syria prove West’s desperation TONY CARTALUCCI Once again, Israel is "leaking" information about alleged airstrikes it claims it has conducted against Syria along the Lebanese-Syrian border. According to CNN's Sources, “The US believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria.” It was stated that the United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two US officials told CNN. The Israelis have long said they would strike at any targets that prove to be the transfer of any kinds of weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups, as well as at any effort to smuggle Syrian weapons into Lebanon that could threaten Israel. This was the same flimsy pretext used in an earlier alleged Israeli attack on Syrian territory earlier this year. In reality, the “other terrorists groups” Israel claims to worry about, are indeed funded and directed by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as part of a longstanding, documented conspiracy to overthrow the governments of Iran and Syria. Reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker article, The Redirection, it was stated (emphasis added): “To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the
Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” Of Israel it specifically stated: “The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.” Additionally, Saudi Arabian officials mentioned the careful balancing act their nation must play in order to conceal its role in supporting USIsraeli ambitions across the region: “The Saudi said that in his country’s view, it was taking a political risk by joining the US in challenging Iran: Bandar is already seen in the Arab world as being too close to the Bush Administration.”
This, in fact, reveals the true nature of the attacks, a result of US, Saudi, and Israeli proxies failing inside of Syria and the desperate need to carryout military intervention to save them, while leaving intact whatever remaining legitimacy and plausible deniability the US holds globally, and Saudi Arabia holds across the Muslim World. Indeed, Israel's explanation as to why it struck neighboring Syria is tenuous at best considering its long, documented relationship with actually funding and arming the very "terrorist groups" it fears weapons may fall into the hands of. In reality, the pressure placed on Syria's borders by both Israel and its partner, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey in the north, is part of a documented plan to relieve pressure on the Western, Israeli, Saudi-Qatari armed and funded terrorists currently collapsing inside Syria. The US foreign-policy think-tank, Brookings Institution - which had blueprinted designs for regime change in Libya as well as both Syria and Iran - stated this specifically in their report titled,“Assessing Options for Regime Change.” Brookings describes how Israeli efforts in the south of Syria, combined with Turkey's aligning of vast amounts of weapons and troops along its border
to the north, could help effect violent regime change in Syria: “In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Assad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Assad regime of a multifront war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Assad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Assad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly,” the Brookings reports added. Of course, airstrikes inside Syria go beyond "posturing," and indicate perhaps a level of desperation in the West who appear to have elected their chief villain, Israel, to incrementally "intervene" just as they had planned in regards to attacking Iran - also documented by Brookings in a report titled, "Which Path to Persia?" With regards to Iran, in Brookings' "Which Path to Persia?" report, it states specifically: “Israel appears to
have done extensive planning and practice for such a strike already, and its aircraft are probably already based as close to Iran as possible. As such, Israel might be able to launch the strike in a matter of weeks or even days, depending on what weather and intelligence conditions it felt it needed. Moreover, since Israel would have much less of a need (or even interest) in securing regional support for the operation, Jerusalem probably would feel less motivated to wait for an Iranian provocation before attacking. In short, Israel could move very fast to implement this option if both Israeli and American leaders wanted it to happen.” “However, as noted in the previous chapter, the airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion)," the Brookings report on Iran added. And in this statement we can gather insight behind both Israel's otherwise irrational belligerent posture throughout its brief history, as well as its more recent acts of unprovoked aggression against Syria. Israel's role is to play the "bad guy." As a regional beachhead for Western corporate-
financier interests, it provides a "foot in the door" to any of the West's many desired conflicts. By bombing Syria, it hopes to provoke a wider conflict - an intervention the West has desired and planned for since it tipped off Syria's violent conflict in 2011. For Syria and its allies - the goal now must be to deter further Israeli aggression and avoid wider conflict at all costs. If NATO's proxy terrorist forces are as weak as they appear incapable of tactical or strategic gains, and tapering off into desperate terrorist attacks, it is only a matter of time before NATO's campaign grinds to a halt. As mentioned before, such a failure on NATO's part will be the beginning of the end for it, and the Western interests that have been using it as a tool to achieve geopolitical hegemony. Israel should be expected to commit to increasingly desperate acts to provoke Syria and Iran - as its leadership represents directly corporate-financier interests abroad, not the Israeli people, or their best interests (including peace and even survival). For those who live on the occupied Palestinian land in Israel, they must realize that their leadership is able, willing, and even eager to spend their lives and fortunes in the service of foreign, corporate-financier interests and global hegemony. (PressTV.ir)
MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
For Germans there is no alternative to the euro OBODY asked the German people if they wanted the euro. Now, almost 15 years after Europe introduced its common currency, a new political party has emerged to campaign for a return to the deutsche mark. Judging by an opinion poll last month, Alternative for Germany has hit a nerve. The party has existed for less than a month, yet the poll by Infratest Dimap found that 24 percent of Germans would consider voting for it in September’s federal elections. Are Germans on their way to rejecting the euro? The answer isn’t simple or well understood, which is surprising given Germany’s centrality to the euro’s survival and how much the global economy depends on a healthy resolution to the currency’s troubles. It starts, however, with the choice that Germans were never given: whether to abolish their own currency. In the 1990s, as preparations were under way to create the euro, Chancellor Helmut Kohl counted himself lucky that the German Constitution didn’t allow for referendums. Kohl accepted the currency union because he saw it as the only way to make the reunification of East and West Germany palatable to the rest of Europe. The French, in particular, feared the new German state would be too powerful. The price they demanded was the euro, which they saw as a great leap forward in the European Union’s integration. Unpopular Euro Had the German people been asked if they wanted the new currency, they probably would have said no, because it would have meant giving up the deutsche mark. Such a rejection would have upset the deal Europe’s political elite had made on German reunification, throwing the EU into disarray. The deutsche mark had almost mythical status in Germany. After World War II, it became both the instrument and the symbol of West Germany’s astonishing economic
Indo-Pak trade needs a push BY PRADEEP S MEHTA, ABID SULERI
and political comeback. East Germans, too, developed a special relationship to the d- mark, as it was often known. For them, it came to represent the affluence and freedom that they were denied as long as the country was divided. Can this emotional attachment to the deutsche mark, combined with Germans’ lack of say over its abolition, explain Alternative for Germany’s rapid gain in popularity? The same Infratest Dimap poll suggests that in the Sept. 22 elections, the party could win more than the 5 percent of the vote needed to gain seats in the German parliament, taking away vital support from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition and perhaps producing a less pro-euro government. A little history helps in gauging the party’s support. The euro got off to a bad start in 1999. Many German shops used the switch from the deutsche mark to raise prices, giving the new currency the nickname “teuro,” which translates roughly as “expensive euro.”
has helped Germany transform itself from the “sick man of Europe” to the economic powerhouse it is today. Germany regained its competitiveness through Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s tough structural policies, which combined radical labor-market reforms and a long period of moderate wage increases. Yet the country’s economy also benefited from the euro, because the currency had a much lower exchange rate than the deutsche mark, giving German companies a considerable edge in global
their new currency. That changed with the beginning of the debt crisis, when some of the old skepticism re-emerged. The news in 2010 that Greece had been manipulating its public finance statistics for years seemed to confirm the prejudices that many Germans held against southern Europeans. Also, there were welljustified doubts about the financial viability of the rescue packages that followed and the feasibility of the reforms that Greece and other crisis countries agreed to undertake. Protests became more vocal last summer, when the European Central Bank decided to use expansive monetary policies to support the crisis countries. Global markets welcomed ECB President Mario Draghi’s move, but fiscally conservative Germans thought Europe’s central bank was breeding inflation and grossly exceeding its mandate. Germany’s conservative news media attacked the bailout plans, and about 200 German
During its first months, the euro also fell sharply against the U.S. dollar, disappointing Germans who had been proud of the strength of the deutsche mark. Since 2003, however, the euro
markets. Germany amassed huge trade surpluses with the economies of southern Europe, in particular. Making Peace As a result, by 2010 Germans had more or less made peace with
economists signed a public letter protesting Merkel’s euro policy. Almost a year later, economists are again leading an initiative against Merkel’s policy. This time they are opposing not just bailout
Jan F. Kallmorgen
packages but also the euro project in general. They want to bring back the deutsche mark because they don’t believe the currency union is sustainable, given the vast economic differences among its members. Alternative for Germany is led by a University of Hamburg economics professor, Bernd Lucke. “In politics, nothing is irreversible, and least of all, the euro,” Lucke said at the party’s inaugural congress on April 14. He described the euro as “a historic mistake.” The party is supported by many former members of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and would steal votes from all existing parties, according to the poll data. That would strengthen those in Merkel’s conservative bloc who are unhappy with her and could take away enough votes from the parties now in government to force Merkel into a coalition with the Social Democratic Party. Yet almost the entire political establishment is committed to keeping the currency union alive. The opposition Social Democrats and the Green Party have voted for every bailout package to date. It is inconceivable for the overwhelming majority of German politicians to abandon European integration and the euro. Faded Anger For this to change, there would have to be wider popular dissatisfaction with the euro -- the kind of anger that existed when the currency was first born. There are no signs that this is happening now. An astonishing two-thirds of Germans say they want to keep the euro, according to an April 9 poll by the Forsa agency. Alternative for Germany is probably just too radical for 2013. Many Germans would like the EU to adopt a tougher policy on the euro crisis, to ensure that debtor countries carry out the changes they have agreed to. But Germans understand that deutsche marks, pesetas and francs can no longer compete against Chinese yuan, U.S. dollars and Brazilian reals.
Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Qatar — Pipelineistan at work ONSTRUCTION is nearing completion on a natural gas pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan, a project that portends a huge geopolitical shift. As regional powers strengthen ties in this key energy market, they're looking to China, and away from the West. Since the early 2000s, analysts and diplomats across Asia have been dreaming of a future Asian Energy Security Grid. This – among other developments – is what it’s all about, the conclusion of the final stretch of the $7.5 billion, 1,100-mile natural gas Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline, starting from Iran’s giant South Pars field in the Persian Gulf, and expected to be online by the end of 2014. Nobody lost money betting on Washington’s reaction; IP would put Islamabad in “violation of United Nations sanctions over [Iran’s] nuclear program.” Yet this has nothing to do with the UN, but with US sanctions made up by Congress and the Treasury Department. Sanctions? What sanctions? Islamabad badly needs energy. China badly needs energy. And India will be extremely tempted to follow, especially when IP reaches
Lahore, which is only 100 km IP, as a key umbilical from the Indian border. India, (steel) cord, makes a by the way, already imports mockery of the artificial – Iranian oil and is not US-encouraged – Sunni-Shia sanctioned for it. divide. Tehran needs the All aboard the win-win train windfall, and the enhanced When Iranian President influence in South Asia. Ahmadinejad even cracked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and that “with natural gas, you Pakistani President Asif cannot make atomic bombs.” Zardari met at the Iranian port Zardari, for his part, boosted of Chabahar in early March, his profile ahead of Pakistan’s that was a long way after IP was Pepe Escobar elections on May 11. With IP first considered in 1994 – then pumping 750 million cubic as Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI), also known as the 'peace pipeline.' feet of natural gas into the Pakistani Subsequent pressure by both Bush economy everyday, power cuts will fade, administrations was so overwhelming that and factories won’t close. Pakistan has no oil. It may have huge potential for solar India abandoned the idea in 2009. IP is what the Chinese call a win-win and wind energy, but no investment deal. The Iranian stretch is already capital and knowhow to develop them. Politically, snubbing Washington is a finished. Aware of Islamabad’s immense cash flow problems, Tehran is loaning it certified hit all across Pakistan, especially $500 million, and Islamabad will come up after the territorial invasion linked to the with $1 billion to finish the Pakistani 2011 targeted assassination of Bin Laden, section. It’s enlightening to note that plus Obama and the CIA’s non-stop drone Tehran only agreed to the loan after wars in the tribal areas. Moreover, Islamabad will need close Islamabad certified it won’t back out (unlike India) under Washington pressure. cooperation with Tehran to assert a measure
of control of Afghanistan after 2014. Otherwise an India-Iran alliance will be in the driver’s seat. Washington’s suggestion of a Plan B amounted to vague promises to help building hydroelectric dams; and yet another push for that ultimate 'Pipelineistan' desert mirage – the which has existed only on paper since the Bill Clinton era. The Foreign Office in Islamabad argued for Washington to at least try to show some understanding. As for the lively Pakistani press, it is having none of it. The big winner is… China IP is already a star protagonist of the New Silk Road(s) – the real thing, not a figment of Hillary Clinton’s imagination. And then there’s the ultra-juicy, strategic Gwadar question. Islamabad decided not only to hand over operational control of the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, in ultra-sensitive southwest Balochistan, to China; crucially, Islamabad and Beijing also signed a deal to build a $4 billion, 400,000 barrels-a-day oil refinery, the largest in Pakistan. Courtesy RT
NSTEAD of waiting, non-state actors should reinforce governmental efforts with their own and take advantage of opportunities of improved commercial relations. The last two years have witnessed a number of promising developments on commercial relations between India and Pakistan. And they have to be nurtured, as against just crying over Pakistan’s decision to postpone the grant of the most-favourednation (MFN) status to trade with India. Recent developments show that Pakistan has provided de facto MFN status to India. The Indian establishment should look at it as a deferred success of its diplomatic efforts. IN REAL TERMS From a narrow base of a positive list, Pakistan has decided to apply a broader negative-list approach. As against the earlier approach of allowing trade in just about 1,800 tariff lines, this base has increased to all product lines except about 1,200. In other words, earlier just over 20 per cent tariff lines (products) were allowed for trade between India and Pakistan. Now, about 15 per cent are barred from being traded — opening up a new opportunity of trade in almost 65 per cent of the tariff lines. This was followed by a decision taken on the side of the trade ministers’ meeting on South Asian Free Trade Agreement held in Islamabad in early 2012. Delegations led by respective commerce ministers paid mutual visits and declared a series of revitalising steps, liberal business-visa regime being the most notable one. Traders benefited from the commencement of an Integrated Check Post at the Wagah-Attari border. However, there is fear that the momentum generated in the preceding years is running out of steam, as implementation of some of the decisions is taking longer than expected. Efforts at the governmental level are covering short-term shocks that may arise out of easing of trade restrictions. At this juncture, what is to be pondered over is how stakeholders other than governments can contribute to the latter’s initiatives on normalising our trade relations. NON-TARIFF BARRIERS While tariffs are coming down, numerous non-tariff trade barriers (NTBs), particularly procedural ones, are hindering our trade. Removal of such barriers is now the key to fostering Indo-Pak trade, but what is lacking is a formal institutional mechanism to do so. This gap can be plugged by involvement of civil society. An initiative, supported by The Asia Foundation and in which CUTS International of India and Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan are joint participants, has recently made inquiries into the extent of NTBs affecting intra-regional trade in South Asia. It was observed that costs amounting to 34.81 per cent of the value of total intra-regional trade can be saved if South Asian countries undertake minimal reforms to harmonise, regulate and remove NTBs. Our work has estimated that in the case of Indo-Pak trade, NTBs are much above the South-Asian average and accounts for about 43 per cent of the value of total aggregate bilateral trade. This calls for a new tack. The current approach to trade reforms suffers from a number of problems such as unclear definition of NTBs, fragmented policy responses towards NTBs, difficulties in quantifying costs and benefits of reforms, and subsequent problems related to incentives and enforcements. Hence, disciplining NTBs remains sub-optimal. INVOLVING PVT SECTOR Excluding relevant stakeholders in the process of reforming NTBs is a major limitation. Many important NTBs even fail to get discussed, as the directly affected trading community has limited access to the official channels. Greater involvement of the private sector in the formal system of reforming NTBs would strengthen the official initiatives. Businesses possess first-hand information on trade costs and potential alternatives to costly and ineffective trade regulations. Direct inputs from them will make the reform process more informed and focused. The most important building block of such a participatory approach is mutual consultation and consensus among various stakeholders such as government officials, business associations, political groups including trade unions, and consumer groups and other civil society and community-based organisations. Creation of any new or restructuring of old institutional and legal systems is not required for empowering private stakeholders to deliver their respective roles in this participatory approach. Article 3 (Objectives and Principles) and Article 10 (Institutional Arrangements) of Agreement on South Asian Free Trade have adequate provisions for creating such a participatory system. According to these provisions, businesses from South-Asian countries can access the NTB resolution authority under the SouthAsian Free Trade Area through their membership in the national-level business and trade associations; some of them are also members of the regional apex body, Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Courtesy Business Line
China’s India land grab TOKING tensions with Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines over islands in the South and East China Seas has not prevented an increasingly assertive China from opening yet another front by staging a military incursion across the disputed, forbidding Himalayan frontier. On the night of April 15, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) platoon stealthily intruded near the China-India-Pakistan trijunction, established a camp 19 kilometers (12 miles) inside Indiancontrolled territory, and presented India’s government with the potential loss of a strategically vital 750-squarekilometer high-altitude plateau. A stunned India, already reeling under a crippling domestic political crisis, has groped for an effective response to China’s land-grab – the largest and most strategic real estate China has seized since it began pursuing a more muscular policy toward its neighbors. Whether China intends to stay put by building permanent structures for its troops on the plateau’s icy heights, or plans to withdraw after having extracted humiliating military concessions from
India, remains an open – and in some ways a moot – question. The fact is that, with its “peaceful rise” giving way to an increasingly sharpelbowed approach to its neighbors, China has broadened its “core interests” – which brook no compromise – and territorial claims, while showing a growing readiness to take risks to achieve its goals. For example, China has not only escalated its challenge to Japan’s decades-old control of the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, but is also facing off against the Philippines since taking effective control of Scarborough Shoal last year. What makes the Himalayan incursion a powerful symbol of China’s aggressive new stance in Asia is that its intruding troops have set up camp in an area that extends beyond the “line of actual control” (LAC) that China itself unilaterally drew when it defeated India in the 1962 Chinese-initiated border war. While China’s navy and a part of its air force focus on supporting revanchist territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas, its army has been active in the mountainous borderlands with India, trying to alter
under public pressure the LAC bit by bit. to mount a robust One of the novel response. Its first methods that the PLA public statement came has employed is to only after China issued bring ethnic Han a bland denial of the pastoralists to the intrusion in response valleys along the LAC to Indian media and give them cover reports quoting army to range across it, in sources. To add to the process driving India’s woes, Salman Indian herdsmen Khurshid, the country’s from their traditional bungling foreign pasturelands. minister, initially made Because the LAC has not been mutually Brahma Chellaney light of the deepest Chinese incursion in clarified – China reneged on a 2001 promise to exchange more than a quarter-century. The maps with India – China claims that garrulous minister called the intrusion PLA troops are merely camping on just “one little spot” of acne on the “Chinese land.” Yet, in a replay of its old otherwise “beautiful face” of the strategy of furtively encroaching on bilateral relationship – a mere blemish disputed land and then presenting itself that could be treated with “an as the conciliator, China now counsels ointment.” With Prime Minister “patience” and “negotiations” to help Manmohan Singh’s corruption-tainted resolve the latest “issue.” China is clearly government tottering on the brink of seeking to exploit India’s political collapse, there has been no official disarray to alter the reality on the explanation of how India was caught ground. A paralyzed and rudderless napping in a militarily critical area Indian government initially blacked out where, in the recent past, China had reporting on the incursion, lest it come made repeated attempts to encroach
on Indian land. In fact, the government inexplicably replaced regular army troops with border police in 2010 to patrol the mountain-ringed plateau into which the PLA has now intruded. Known as Depsang, the plateau lies astride an ancient silk route connecting Yarkand in Xinjiang to India’s Ladakh region through the Karakoram Pass. India, with a military staging post and airstrip just south of the Karakoram Pass, has the capacity to cut off the highway linking China with its “allweather ally,” Pakistan. The PLA intrusion, by threatening that Indian base, may have been intended to foreclose India’s ability to choke off supplies to Chinese troops and workers in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region, where China has expanded its military footprint and strategic projects. To guard those projects, several thousand Chinese troops reportedly have been deployed in the rebellious, predominantly Shia region, which is closed to the outside world. For India, the Chinese incursion also threatens its access to the 6,300meter-high Siachen Glacier, to the west of Depsang. Pakistan claims the
Indian-controlled glacier, which, strategically wedged between the Pakistani- and Chinese-held parts of Kashmir, served as the world’s highest and coldest battleground (and one of the bloodiest) from the mid-1980’s until a cease-fire took effect in 2003. India’s nonmilitary options to force a Chinese withdrawal from Depsang range from diplomatic (suspension of all official visits or reconsideration of its recognition of Tibet as part of China) to economic (an informal boycott of Chinese goods, just as China has hurt Japan through a nonofficial boycott of Japanese-made products). A possible military response could involve the Indian army establishing a camp of its own on Chinese territory elsewhere that China’s leaders regard as highly strategic. But, before it can exercise any option credibly, India needs a stable government. Until then, China will continue to press its claims by whatever means – fair or foul – it deems advantageous.
Courtesy Project Syndicate
CMYK MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
Kim Kardashian wants baby to be reality TV star
Alia Bhatt eager to hit Highway set, again
MELBOURNE: Kim Kardashian apparently wants her child to star in `Keeping up with the Kardashians`, despite beau Kanye West `s disapproval. The 32-year-old starlet has sent mixed messages regarding her baby`s TV future, the Courier Mail reported. Kardashian, who is all set to give birth in July, has previously stated that her child will be off-limits when the cameras roll. When asked in an interview with The Times Magazine whether she would include her unborn child on her shows she said that she is not sure right now. But when her sister Khloe Kardashian added, "Never say never", Kim revealed that it was the rapper who was standing in the way of them becoming a reality TV family. She also praised Kourtney Kardashian’s two children, Mason and Penelope, saying that she loves and enjoys seeing them on the show. -SHOWBIZ DESK
MUMBAI: One-film-old Alia Bhatt is enjoying shooting for Imtiaz Ali's Highway so much that she can't wait to resume shooting for the movie. "We are travelling a lot. It's a journey. I am having a great time. I can't wait to go back and shoot more. Working with Imtiaz keeps getting better," she told IANS. Alia is paired with Randeep Hooda in Highway, about two people and their road trip. The actress, who debuted last year with Student Of The Year, will also be seen in 2 States and likes the fact that both the films challenge her as an actress. "Everyone loves looking for change and challenges. I am so grateful to work on these two films. I am very excited. I could not have asked for anything better," she said. Alia is playing a south Indian girl in 2 States, based on Chetan Bhagat's book "2 States -The Story of My Marriage", and she will be seen opposite Arjun Kapoor in the film. "I did have to learn little Tamil to get the nuances of the language," she said. A large part of the film has been shot in IIM Ahemdabad. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Pakistan defers ‘Shootout at Wadala’ release SHOWBIZ DESK NEW DELHI: Shootout at Wadala, which has made a landmark in the history of A certificate films in Hindi cinema by minting Rs. 10.01 crore on its opening day has hit a sort-of-a stumbling block in Pakistan. According to a leading daily, the Censor Board of Pakistan has delayed the release of ‘Shootout at Wadala’, claiming that certain elements in the flick are too bold and provocative, which is not in keeping with the religious sentiments of Muslims. “They found the ‘Laila’ song, that features Sunny Leone, and the lovemaking scene between John and Kangana too provocative for audiences in Pakistan,” a source said. However, Balaji Motion Pictures is still hopeful that the film will sooner or later release across the border. “We have been informed that the Censor Board objected to certain portions. The authorities are reviewing it,” says Tanuj Garg, chief executive officer of Balaji Motion Pictures, said. On the other hand, the cast and crew of the movie have
something to celebrate, the box office collections on the movie on its opening day. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh took to Twitter to announce the successful opening of the movie. “Shootout At Wadala Fri 10.1 cr.
Lara Dutta calls her daughter the 'boss' MADRID: Model-actress Lara Dutta, who is on a vacation with her family in Madrid, says her one-year-old daughter is the 'boss' when it comes to deciding what to eat. The 35year-old former Miss Universe gave birth to her first child Saira with tennis ace Mahesh Bhupati last year. "Enjoying some fantastic weather in Madrid! My daughter seems to enjoy Chinese food though over Spanish Tapas! And right now she's the boss!," she posted on Twitter. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Amongst the top openers of the year!” he tweeted. “ShootoutAtWadala opens at No 11 position in UK. Despite 18 certificate by British censors. That says it all!” Taran tweeted. ‘Shootout at Wadala’, the sequel
to the 2007 film ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ - is based on the book ‘Dongri to Dubai’ and revolves around the first ever registered encounter by Mumbai police in which gangster Manya Surve was shot dead at the
junction next to Dr. Ambedkar college, Wadala, Mumbai on 11 January 1982. The film stars John Abraham, Kangna Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Tusshar Kapoor, and Sonu Sood in lead roles.
Amanda Seyfried named 'new face of Givenchy fragrances' SHOWBIZ DESK
LONDON: Amanda Seyfried has stepped into the fashion world, as she has been named the new face of Givenchy fragrances. The 27-year-old actress told Women's Wear Daily that her response to the french luxury brand's offer to be the new face of its Very Irresistible line was "F-k yeah," the New York Daily News reported. Seyfried, who also appears in ads for Cle de Peau Beaute, insisted that it was an honest collaboration. She asserted that she is proud to be part of all the brands she is associated with because what they do is really cool and especially Givenchy - they're so artistic. Seyfried, who has replaced fellow actress Liv Tyler, the former face of Givenchy fragrances, also said that she feels like she has got a foot in the fashion industry now. The 'Dear John' star wore the brand's gown to
MUMBAI: Sridevi stepped out in a floral Temperley London dress for a book launch.
Akshay’s next film titled 'Entertainment'
last year's Tony Awards and was recently spotted at the fashion house's ready-to-wear show. The beauty brand also called model "a chic, sexy woman who is a perfect fit for Givenchy."
While she is thrilled about her venture into beauty, Seyfried has stressed that a celebrity fragrance isn't on her agenda. Her Givenchy ads will hit fashion magazines in October.
Baz Luhrmann jazzed about The Great Gatsby SHOWBIZ DESK LOS ANGELES: Baz Luhrmann is talking a mile a minute, the only speed he ever talks at. He has a point he needs to make about rubber zebras in The Great Gatsby. “If someone says, ‘There were no rubber zebras in the 1920s!’, then I have photos of girls in the 1920s holding them,” Luhrmann says, striking a defiant pose as he metaphorically mans the parapets during a recent Toronto visit. The outspoken Aussie director, a youthful 52 whose immaculate grey hair seems more fashion statement
than fate, is bracing himself for the nitpickers: those who will find fault with his 3D screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 tragic romance, oft cited as the greatest American novel. Such as with those zebras. Roaring Twenties flappers are seen frolicking with them in the mansion pool of Leonard DiCaprio’s mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, whose decadent parties symbolize the era but are designed to lure back his lost love Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). “Everything in this film, despite what people might say, has a historical reference.
We’re research junkies.” Luhrmann’s film, the fifth screen version of Fitzgerald’s slim novel, opens the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, following its North American release on May 10. He’s leaving nothing to chance, and that includes photos of himself. He arrives 20 minutes late for this interview at the Shangri-La Hotel, ground zero for a tightly scheduled day of media encounters, because he’s spent so much time elsewhere in the hotel instructing Star photographer Tara Walton exactly how he wants to be shot.
NEW DELHI: Akshay Kumar's film, produced by Tips and directed by writers-turned directors Sajid- Farhad, is tentatively titled Entertainment. The debutant directors, who have also penned the screenplays and dialogues for films like the Golmaal series, Housefull and Chashme Baddoor, are set to make a complete entertainer. The film is based in South Africa as that's where Akshay Kumar's character goes to from India. This film, interestingly, also stars Prakash Raj and Sonu Sood. "In Africa he meets Raj and Sood who play step-brothers in the film. Though both play negative characters there are no action scenes or fight sequences. Instead there is an undercurrent of comedy throughout the film and they even have songs filmed on them," said a source adding that the feel of the film is like Welcome, the Akshay Kumar-Nana Patekar-starrer. The leading lady is Tamannah who made her Hindi film debut in Himmatwala and the cast also includes Nikitin Dheer and Johnny Lever. The shooting of the film is set to take off in July in South Africa. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Song critical of Pakistani generals blocked online No oﬃcial explanation has been given for the apparent ban on the video
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani band with a reputation for satirizing the country’s military may have finally gone too far. About two weeks ago, the band, Beygairat Brigade, released a song that criticizes generals even more directly than their previous offering, which became a viral video hit when it was released two years ago. But over the past 10 days, the video of the song, ‘Dhinak Dhinak,’ has been mysteriously blocked in Pakistan on Vimeo, a video-sharing Web site. The band released the song on Vimeo. No official explanation has been given for the apparent ban on the video of the song, which critics have praised for its sharp humor. As band members sway and dance, they sing of “the generals” who carry out coups and proxy wars, their corruption,When pockets are
full, all the strings are theirs to pull and their ability to eliminate critics, If it’s one of them you give a naughty look to, very soon you will disappear from view. The lead singer, Ali Aftab Saeed, suspects that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority blocked the video after a nod from the military. “The song was not against the military,” Mr. Saeed insisted in an interview. “We have nothing against the military. We were discussing generals, including General Musharraf, who had imposed coups and were not held accountable.” He was speaking of the former Pakistani leader,Pervez Musharraf. Last month, Capital TV, a new news network, briefly was taken off the air after a guest on a talk show used abusive language toward the army chief, Gen.Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Khurram Mehran, spokesman for the Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority, denied that the government had blocked the video. “I am not aware of any directives to ban the video,” he said. Still, on Saturday, the video remained blocked on several Internet service providers in Pakistan. Some critics say the song is groundbreaking. “This is definitely
something that was never done before,” said Nadeem Farooq Paracha, a culture critic and columnist. “They went a step further. It is a sarcastic take on the history of army’s role in politics and automatically stands out.” He said most of the satire in the country lampooned politicians but treated the military as a sacred cow. The military, once virtually immune to public criticism, has come under pressure from several sides in recent years. Some elements of the news media are increasingly critical, and the former military ruler, Mr. Musharraf, is facing several legal prosecutions that could result in jail time or even the death penalty, a predicament previously unimaginable. Recording and producing the song proved difficult, said Mr. Saeed, the singer. Several studio owners declined to record the song, deeming it too
controversial. A studio owner who eventually agreed requested that his name not appear in the credits, Mr. Saeed said. Still, he said the apparent censorship of the song’s video caught him by surprise. The band’s earlier hit,
“Aalu Anday,” had escaped that fate. He admits that the band was trying to “push a little, create more space,” but not to push too far. “I thought we had wittily discussed the issue,” he said. “We tried not to be offensive.”
CMYK MONDAY, MAY 06, 2013
Veteran Haas wins Munich at 10th attempt
German Tommy Haas celebrates with the trophy after he won the ATP BMW Open fifinnal match against German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday. –AGENCIES MUNICH: Evergreen German Tommy Haas beat defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets on Sunday to win the Munich claycourt title for the first time at the 10th attempt, 13 years after his first appearance in the final. Haas needed just 82 minutes to seal his 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) win over compatriot Kohlschreiber and pick up the 14th title of his career to become the first 35-year-old to win an ATP tournament since 2008. Haas in enjoying an Indian summer and on Monday will be ranked 13th in the world, having reached a career-high of second back in 2002 "It means a lot to win here, it's hard to put it into words, but it's a great feeling," Haas, who lives in Florida, but said it had been good to spend some time with his family in Germany this week. "I just came here wanting to play well and try to win the title. "The fact that it has worked out is unbelievable. "I have to pay credit to Philipp, he played really well. He took a few risks and was aggressive, he made it a good fight." Having struggled with injuries in recent years, Haas' is yet to win a Grand Slam, but reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon back in 2009 and beat Roger Federer in last year's grass-court final at Halle. "Perhaps I can go on now and win another title this year," he added, having never got past the fourth round at Roland Garros with the French Open set to start in a fortnight. This was Haas' fourth win on home soil having twice won in Halle and once in Stuttgart. –AGENCIES
Mayweather downs Guerrero to keep WBC title
Williams smashes career best as Zimbabwe level ODI series BULAWAYO: Sean Williams smashed a career-best unbeaten 78 as Zimbabwe levelled their one-day international series against Bangladesh with a six-wicket victory on Sunday. Put into bat by the hosts, Bangladesh rallied late in their innings to post 252 for nine wickets, a par score on a good batting track. Despite some jitters along the way, Zimbabwe chased down the runs with 13 balls to spare. Zimbabwe were outclassed in the series opener at the same venue on Friday when they were thumped by 121 runs, but showed much more mettle in the second match. Williams came in with his side teetering at 94 for three, but worked the ball around the ground expertly, hitting six fours and a six in his 75-ball knock. He got support from Malcolm Waller (39 not out) as the pair put on 86 for the fifth wicket to see their side through to the win. "I wanted to bat through the innings, it is a great batting track so you want to pad up and bat on this. The guys have put in a lot of work in the last few days and it has paid off," man of the match Williams said in a television interview after the game. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor played his part with a steady 37, while opener Vusi Sibanda
Zimbabwe's captain Brendan Taylor bats during the second ODI between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh at the Queens Sports Club on Sunday. –AGENCIES struck 49. "We showed a lot of character to bounce back from Friday," Taylor said. "Sean Williams was fantastic along with Malcolm Waller. For 45 overs of their innings we were excellent with the ball and then let it slip at the end."
Bangladesh slumped to 124 for five in their innings before a swashbuckling unbeaten 53 off 22 balls from No 9 Abdur Razzak helped the side to 252. Razzak smashed four fours and five sixes in his first ODI half-century. "We didn't bat well, a
couple of guys got going and did (not) go through," Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said. "At one stage we were looking at 180 all out, so we were happy with our total. But we needed early wickets and those did not come." –AGENCIES
BANGLADESH INNINGS Tamim Iqbal c Taylor b Chatara 6 Mohammad Ashraful c Taylor b Jarvis 8 Mominul Haque c Jarvis b Chigumbura 24 Mushfiqur Rahim lbw b Chigumbura 26 Shakib Al Hasan lbw b Utseya 34 Nasir Hossain c Taylor b Chatara 36 Mahmudullah c Jarvis b Chigumbura 31 Ziaur Rahman c Taylor b S. Masakadza 12 Abdur Razzak not out 53 Shafiul Islam run out 4 Robiul Islam not out 0 EXTRAS (4 B, 6 LB, 7 WD, 1 NB) 18 TOTAL (9 wkts, 50 overs) 252 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-10, 2-16, 3-60, 4-88, 5124, 6-160, 7-185, 8-213, 9-224 BOWLING: Chatara 10-2-33-2 Jarvis 10-0-52-1 S Masakadza 10-0-64-1 Chigumbura 10-0-39-3 Utseya 8-0-47-1 H Masakadza 2-0-7-0 ZIMBABWE INNINGS 15 H Masakadza b Shafiul Islam 49 V Sibanda lbw b Shakib Al Hasan S Raza c Shakib Al Hasan b Shafiul Islam 23 B Taylor c Mominul Haque b Ziaur Rahman 37 S Williams not out 78 M Waller not out 39 Did not bat: E Chigumbura, P Utseya, S Masakadza, K Jarvis, T Chatara EXTRAS (5 LB, 7 WD) 12 TOTAL (4 wkts, 47.5 overs) 253 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-29, 2-94, 3-94, 4-167 BOWLING: Shafiul Islam 9-0-51-2 Robiul Islam 9.5-0-51-0 Abdur Razzak 9-0-44-0 Ziaur Rahman 7-0-42-1 Shakib Al Hasan 9-0-42-1 Mahmudullah 4-0-18-0 Toss: Zimbabwe Umpires: Johan Cloete (SA) and Owen Chirombe (ZIM) TV umpire: Jeremiah Matibiri (ZIM) Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG) Result: Zimbabwe won by six wickets Series: Three-match series level at 1-1
Aamir Atlas wins final to become Asian squash champion OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Aamir Atlas Khan brushed aside Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Mezayan in three sets to become the first Pakistani in 14 years to win the Asian Squash Championship on Sunday at the Islamabad Sport Complex. Aamir triumphed over Al Mezayan after an impressive performance with figures of 11-9, 11-3, 11-8. Speaking to media after the final, Aamir said the victory was the result of his hard work and he was happy to have won a title for Pakistan. “I am very happy and I am sure that
after this victory, squash in Pakistan will see better days,” he said. The twenty-two year old
had earlier said that he was using the home advantage to his benefit. “I knew I had advantage of home glass court and crowd, and I took advantage of both,” he said. Aamir had beaten Asyraf Azan of Malaysia 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 in the semi-final on Saturday. He added that his expectations before the start of the tournament were low because he had just recovered from an injury; however, his goal was to win the Asian title for which he worked hard. In the women’s final, Hong Kong’s Annie Au beat Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-1.
World Boxing Council champion Floyd Mayweather celebrates after beating and Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night. –AGENCIES
Brett Rumford clinches China Open golf title
LAS VEGAS: World Boxing Council champion Floyd Mayweather extended his perfect record to 44 victories Saturday, beating Robert Guerrero by unanimous decision in their welterweight title fight. Mayweather, who was defending his title for the first time since serving a jail term for domestic violence, dominated a bloodied Guerrero for most of the fight at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. All three judges scored the 12-round fight 117-111 in favour of Mayweather. "I had a good tough battle with Robert Guerrero," Mayweather said. "It was blood, sweat and tears tonight." The 36-year-old Mayweather was also fighting for the first time in a year as he improved to 44-0 with 26 knockouts. Guerrero, who had his 15-fight win streak dating back to 2005 snapped, fell to 31-2-1, with 18 knockouts. Mayweather spent close to three months in jail beginning in June after being convicted of domestic violence involving the mother of his three children. "I wouldn't wish being locked up on anyone," Mayweather said Saturday. "That's a rough position, being locked up 23 hours a day with one hour out." Both fighters had their fathers working their corners Saturday. Mayweather sacked his uncle and longtime cornerman Roger Mayweather in favour of bringing his father Floyd Sr back for this fight. The two fathers grabbed most of the pre-fight attention by exchanging verbal jabs, with Ruben Guerrero calling Floyd Jr a "woman beater" in the build up to the bout. Mayweather had plenty of critics heading into Saturday's fight who said factors working against him included increasing age, the change in trainers and the conviction and jail term. "Everybody was saying because I am 36 that I don't have it no more, that my defence wasn't sharp, but I proved myself," Mayweather said. –AGENCIES
TIANJIN: Australian Brett Rumford romped to his second title in as many weeks at the Volvo China Open on Sunday in a tournament where China's teen golf stars staked a claim on future trophies. Rumford swept to victory with a four-under-par 68 in the final round, winning by four shots to take the 20 million yuan (U.S. $3.2 million) prize at at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club.It followed his win at the Ballantine's Championship in Korea last week capping a remarkable fortnight that has seen him soar up the world rankings from 253 to the mid 80s. He finished at 16 under par, with Finland's Mikko Ilonen (71) in second place and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (68) third. "It's surreal. I'm more than pleased, but it's not my doing completely – I have a great team around me," said Rumford in a OneAsia press release. Rumford started the day a shot ahead of playing partner Ilonen and they battled it out until the tournament was effectively settled in a threehole stretch starting at the 12th. Rumford made three consecutive birdies while Ilonen had a pair of bogeys, leaving him resigned to second place. "Mikko certainly put the pressure on me through the turn there, and obviously he was driving well, but it's amazing this game, how quickly it can turn," said Rumford. The relative ease of Rumford's win could not have contrasted more with his experience in Korea, when he broke a near six-year victory drought only after enduring a nail-biting three-way play-off. Chinese teenager Dou Zecheng put in another credible effort with a 73 that saw him finish the tournament in the middle of the field at one under par – the same as defending champion Branden Grace. The 16-year-old amateur qualifier, the youngest player ever to make the cut in the tournament's 19-year-history, immediately set his sights on even greater glory. "I want more -- I want to play in Majors," he said, three
Repsol Honda Team motoGP's Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa celebrates on the podium after winning on Sunday. –AGENCIES
Pedrosa wins Spanish Grand Prix
Brett Rumford of Australia posing with the winner's trophy after the fifinnal round of the Volvo China Open on Sunday. –AGENCIES weeks after 14-year-old compatriot Guan Tianlang stunned the golf world by making the cut at the US Masters. On Thursday another qualifier, China's 12-year-old Ye Wocheng, became the youngest player ever to start a European Tour or OneAsia event. Ye missed the cut by 14 after shooting a pair of 79s. Scores after round three of the Volvo China Open 2013. –AGENCIES
J EREZ DE L A FRON TERA: Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa gained his first win of the season on Sunday taking the Spanish MotoGP. The 27year-old Honda rider came home clear of his team-mate Marc Marquez while defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo was third on a Yamaha. Marquez, who went top of the standings on 61 points three ahead of Pedrosa and four of Lorenzo, once again showed his class at just 20-years-old as he passed Lorenzo on the final bend for second spot. However, it left Lorenzo furious as they came together on the bend and he refused to accept Marquez's apology immediately afterwards. Lorenzo maintained a diplomatic facade once he dismounted from his bike. "I prefer not to comment on that I would rather talk about my race," said Lorenzo, who turned 26 on Saturday. "It was a perfect race for my bike and the team. I am pretty sore about what happened but I prefer not to make any further comment." Marquez, who a fortnight ago became the youngest ever winner of a MotoGp, accepted that he had been in the wrong. "I wanted to say sorry to Jorge but it wasn't possible," said
Marquez, who has had a history in the other categories of upsetting his rivals with risky manoeuvres. "Sure if I had been him I would be angry but I entered the last lap and I knew that I could pass him and so I went for it," he added. Pedrosa, who has yet to add the MotoGP title to his 125cc and 250cc world crowns, was delighted to have broken his duck for the season. "It was a good race and I am delighted to have got a win under my belt," said Pedrosa, who has finished title runner-up on three occasions. "Jorge was very strong but once I got past him I let myself establish a decent lead and then eased off as I didn't want to destroy my tyres." Lorenzo produced an excellent manoeuvre after losing first place on the first corner, coming on the inside to pass Pedrosa on the first lap. Rossi too was in sparkling form on the first lap overtaking Marquez, but the young rider displaying the class he showed in the previous race by reclaiming third spot on the second lap. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa opened up a bit of a gap on the pursuing pack led by Marquez and Rossi while behind the race saw four riders exit with 24 laps still remaining. –AGENCIES
Beware an epidemic of chucking
Ian Chappell his week I had an entertaining lunch with former South Australian fast bowler Peter Trethewey. Known to his mates as "The Claw", Trethewey had his Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame in the late 1950s when English cricket writers depicted him and his opening partner Alan Hitchcox as "Trethrowey and Pitchcox". It was a period when doubtful actions were rife in Australian cricket, and the Fleet Street press was convinced bowlers of this ilk were responsible for Richie Benaud's team cruising to a 4-0 Ashes victory. To be fair to England's fourth estate, Sir Donald Bradman, then a selector
and an Australian Cricket Board member, started a purge to eradicate dubious actions from Australian cricket. This resulted in Australian fast bowler Ian Meckiff being made the scapegoat when he was no-balled from square leg at the Gabba Test in 1963-64. He never played Test cricket again. That cut-throat approach is a far cry from the modern stance. The officials got themselves in a bind when they misguidedly bent over backwards to accommodate Muttiah Muralitharan's unorthodox action. This shortsighted approach has resulted in all kinds of bends and flexes being allowed in bowling actions. This will lead to an escalation in the epidemic that will eventually force the administrators to either take drastic action or declare the game an elongated form of baseball. Instead of looking to simplify the law regarding bowling actions, administrators have complicated the process. It has reached the point where it's a barrister's dream and it
doesn't take a Rumpole of the Bailey to keep serial offenders playing the game. Even worse, the current drawn-out process surrounding dubious actions doesn't give the batsmen the appropriate protection in the middle. It's a nightmare for a batsman when someone chucks the odd delivery. That makes
Lax laws and a complicated reporting process mean the threat is all too real it difficult to adjust, and often a batsman becomes so aware of the dubious delivery, he's fooled by a legal one. No batsman wants a bowler thrown out of the game but he is entitled to be protected by a call from square leg when a bowler transgresses. Under the current law, with all the piffle about 15 degrees of flex and a long drawn-out
notification process, this isn't possible. A bowler is no-balled when he oversteps the front line by a fraction, which makes absolutely no difference down the other end. Yet a batsman isn't protected when a dubious delivery (that gives a bowler a huge advantage) abbreviates his innings. This is a denial of a batsman's basic rights. The law needs to be modified to something really simple so the legal people can't get their teeth into it in a court. This way the umpire at square leg will feel comfortable calling a noball on the field, knowing he won't finish up in court defending his judgement against a barrister who doesn't know the difference between a no-ball and no man's land. Any modification of the law will require a 12-month lead-in time so the current crop of bowlers can iron out any kinks in order to comply with the new regulations. In the meantime, officials need to be vigilant and strict in youth tournaments, and any bowler with a doubtful action should be told to fix his
delivery or find another profession. If these remedies aren't adopted soon, the copycat syndrome will ensure the market is flooded and then it'll be difficult to tell the difference between the delivery of a bowler and that of a baseball pitcher. If that occurs, the stormy late '50s-early '60s period will be looked back on as one of relatively pure bowling actions. These days the mild-mannered Trethewey is a successful businessman, living in California with his charming American wife, Peggy. That means he's mostly quarantined from modern quirky bowling actions, but ironically his wife's name conjures up thoughts of the baseball term "pegged out", meaning to throw out a base runner. Wouldn't today's English media have a ball with that: "Trethrowey pegged out at home"?
(Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist)
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
MAY 06, 2013
Taliban issue warning in tribal areas against voting
ECP bars another ad against PML-N
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday took notice of an anti-PML-N television advertisement campaign being aired by various private television channels focusing leaked conversations between Justice (r) Malik Qayum and Saifur Rehman, directing PEMRA to halt the commercial. A letter had been sent by the ECP to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman, directing the authority to stop airing the paid commercial. The ECP mentioned that character assassination being reflected in the advertisement was against the rules and regulations and could not be permitted, adding that such commercials could also act as a catalyst in fueling violence or disturbing law and order situation across the country. –AGENCIES
PESHAWAR: While terming democracy as a system of ‘infidels’, the Taliban in the semi-tribal Darra Adamkhel have warned the general public not to participate in the upcoming general elections otherwise they will be responsible for their own destruction. In a leaflet circulated in Darra Adamkhel, the local Taliban have declared war on all political parties whether they represent religious agendas or secular ones. “Our war is against democracy and all those who want to implement a
democratic system in the country. Whether they are Muslims or nonMuslims; they live in Pakistan or abroad; whether they call themselves religious or secular (all are our enemies).” The message which has been delivered by Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Darra Adamkhel chapter says that the religious parties are the main obstacle in the way of Islamic Shariah in the country. “Those who say they want to implement Islamic Shariah via balloting are the real enemy of Islam. They are mocking Islam
and Islamic history”, reads the leaflet. The Taliban have asked the common people to join hands with them to implement Islamic Shariah in a true spirit. According to the Taliban, a conflict is going on between Islam and infidel forces all around the world. Actually it is a battle between ‘Islamic Shariah’ and ‘democracy’. Pakistan was liberated on the name Islam but unfortunately the Islamic Shariah was never exercised here. “Secular forces are striving to establish an unIslamic
We’ll be a nation after polls: Imran
ISLAMABAD: Anti-Terrorism Court would hear the detention of judges case against former President Pervez Musharraf on Monday (today) at his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad which has been converted into sub-jail. The counsels from both sides would present their arguments before Special ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi. Imran Feroze, the lawyer of Pervez Musharraf had submitted a bail application in the court on May 4 asking granting bail after arrest of his client. The court had accepted the plea for proceedings. –ONLINE
QUETTA: At least two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and 13 dacoits were killed on Sunday during an exchange of fire in the Bhag area of Bolan. According to FC sources, security personnel conducted a raid to arrest a wanted dacoit Gul Bahar in the Bhag area, adding that two of its personnel were killed when the raiding team came under fire as soon as they entered the area to arrest the suspects. Security forces resorted to retaliatory action which was followed by a lengthy gunbattle. Gul Bahar was also killed in the five-hour long battle between militants and security forces. Huge quantity of arms and ammunition was also recovered during the raid. FC sources said the gang was involved in different acts of kidnappings and robberies. –ONLINE
Altaf addresses another rally in Punjab JAHANIAN: MQM Chief Altaf Hussain Sunday reiterated his party wants Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal’s Pakistan and not Taliban’s Pakistan. Altaf Hussain while addressing a public meeting via telephone as part of MQM’s electoral campaign here in the province of Punjab, said if religion does not espouse subjecting people to coercion then why mosques and Imam Bargahs are being attacked. –AGENCIES
Says time to bid adieu to US war
OUR STAFF REPORTER
Polls won't change system, not even faces: Qadri
Two FC men, 13 dacoits killed in Bolan shootout
NA-47 where 36 candidates are going to contest the elections. NA47 consists of FR Peshawar, FR Kohat, FR Bannu, FR Lakki Marwat, FR Tank and FR Kohat. Previously the seat was won either by Bitani or Afridi tribesmen who live mostly in Darra Adamkhel. In 2008 the seat was won by independent candidate Zafar Battani. This time a close contest is expected between him and PMLN’s Haji Baz Gul Afridi. If turnout remained low at Darra Adamkhel it will ease the competition for Zafar Bitani.
Arrow broken, PPP nowhere in race
ATC to try Musharraf at his farmhouse
BURMINGHAM: PAT Chief Tahirul Qadri says the May 11 general elections in the country would bring about no change, not even of the faces in the system. Addressing a large gathering of overseas Pakistanis here, he said he doesn't have any hope of anything useful emerging out the polls. “Those raising the slogan of change would be protesting on the election day's night after they see being cheated through polls,” he said. Qadri said it would be the worst elections held thus far in Pakistan. He said the elections were being so engineered that not even change of faces would be seen, leave aside change in the system. –AGENCIES
democratic system in the country and the current elections are part of this”, reads the leaflet. The militants have also requested teachers not to perform duties in polling stations and have asked the tribesmen to stay away from the balloting process as they could come under attack. “Wherever we get the opportunity to target the polling stations we will do so. The Taliban will attack political leaders and their ordinary workers”, warned the statement. Darra Adamkhel falls under Frontier Regions constituency
KARACHI: A market is closed for a day of mourning for the deaths of MQM workers killed in twin bombings. — ONLINE
Nawaz opposes support to US war on terror
Two posts captured
2 troops, 16 militants dead in Tirah clashes OUR STAFF REPORTER
Backs talks with Taliban Says Mush humiliation an example for generals LAHORE: PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif Sunday said Pakistan should reconsider its support for the US war and suggested that he was in favour of negotiations with the Taliban. Sharif said the military's campaign against the Taliban was not the best way to defeat the insurgency. "I think guns and bullets are always not the answer to such problems," he said in an interview in his black armoured car on Saturday. "I think other options need to be explored at the same time and see what is workable. And I think we're going to pursue all these other options." "Someone will have to take this problem seriously," said Nawaz, as he headed to an election campaign rally. "All stakeholders will have to sit down together and understand the concerns of all parties and then take a decision, which is in the best interest of Pakistan and the international community." He became sombre as he recalled how a former army chief and later president, Pervez Musharraf, toppled his government in a bloodless coup in 1999. "It was a very bad day for Pakistan," said Sharif. Sharif said Musharraf 's plight should serve as an example to other top brass who may be planning a takeover. Pakistan is undergoing a transition, said Sharif. "This accountability which is now taking
place is itself a lesson to all those who have any such designs in the future," he said. "Now Musharraf has come back and look at what he's going through. Everybody is seeing it on TV and reading it in the newspapers and this itself is a lesson to everybody." Sharif believes his team is up to the challenge of reviving the nearfailed economy. He said he would promote a free-market, as he did during two stints as prime minister in the 1990s. "We are going to pick up the threads from where we left off in 1999," he said. "I'm not someone who is against the IMF. But I am a man who believes that we need to stand on our own feet, that should be our priority," said Sharif. "But to work with the IMF until such time, I don't see any harm in that." Asked what his most daunting task would be if victorious in the polls, he said: "To put the country back on the rails." –AGENCIES
PESHAWAR: Security forces captured two militant strongholds in Kismet Sur and Sunghar areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber tribal region after successful operations, according to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) sources. At least 16 militants were killed during the operation and scores of other militants fled from the area leaving behind a huge cache of arms and ammunition. Two security personnel were killed and three others were injured during the operation. In another incident in Orakzai tribal region's Mamozai area, at least six suspected militants were killed and five others were injured during clashes between security forces and militants. Security sources said two security personnel were also injured during the skirmish. Moreover, two security personnel of the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) were killed and three others were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast while the unit was clearing the Esha Razmak Road in North Waziristan, officials confirmed. The military officials confirmed that the bomb disposal party was busy clearing the Esha-Razmak route for troops’ movement when it was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device, resulting in the death of two soldiers. The officials also confirmed that three soldiers were wounded in the blast who were shifted to a nearby hospital. A search operation continued in the area.
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Chief Imran Khan says he will transform Pakistan into a nation as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. Imran on Sunday addressed a series of public gathering in Punjab, starting from Lahore in the morning and ending at Faisalabad. In between he also addressed rallies in Chinot and Khushab. In Faisalabad, Imran said he PPP’s arrow has broken and it stands nowhere in election race. He said Sharifs are having nightmares these days as they also know that their days are over. “PPP and PML-N claim carrying out many project, but my main aim is to make Pakistan one nation,” he said, adding that he wants to see Pakistan as an Islamic welfare state as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam. Imran again reiterated that it is high time for Pakistan to get out of American war on terror. Addressing a public meeting in Chiniot‚ he said if elected his party would transform Pakistan into a self-sufficient country by salvaging it from alms and debts. Imran said a revolution has already come. He said the nation is sagacious and intelligent. “Nobody can fool anyone in this age of social media. He said youth has decided for a change and will not back down now.” Addressing a public meeting at
Khushab‚ PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that the people should not waste the opportunity to make a new Pakistan on May 11. He said his party would transform the country into a self-sufficient Pakistan and 'we do not need to seek financial assistance from foreign countries and organizations.' The loans were used by the corrupt politicians for their lavish life while the people do not even get potable water, he lamented. Addressing Azm-e-Pakistan convention in Lahore‚ he said it is only justice that can unite a nation. He said Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture. “PTI would make Pakistan a strong and stable state by eradicating corruption and injustice from the society.” Agencies add: Imran says his party would sweep the May 11 general elections in Pakistan as more young people, fed up with the status quo, are likely to cast their ballot this time. Imran told The Sunday Times that “it's middle classes, young people, people who have never voted before, exactly like what happened in the Arab world. We are going to sweep this election." "This is a revolution. Look at them people. They are fed up with the status quo. This is an across-the-board desire for change and a fear the country won't survive unless we do.
3-man committee to tackle power crisis ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted a 3-member committee to look into the energy crisis besides devising short term strategy to reduce electricity shortage for prompt relief of the people. The Committee includes Advisor to Prime Mininter on Finance Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, Water and Power Minister Dr. Musadik Malik and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Sohail Wajahat H.Siddiqui. The shortterm energy policy would be implemented without increasing the power tariffs and putting financial burden on the people. Sources said country was currently generating 9200 MW of electricity against the demand of 13800 to 14000 MW, so there is electricity shortage of 4000 MW across the
country, resulting in 12 hours power loadshedding. They said the government could enhance the generation capacity of the power units to 2900 MW and bring it into system through adopting short term measures and reduce the power shortage in the country. The Ministry of Finance has already released Rs 10 billion while Rs 20 billion will be released shortly to help overcome the power crisis on short-term basis. Under the short term strategy Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would provide 150200 MMCFD to the power generation companies to ensure gas supply to power generation companies for generating electricity. The short term measures would help reduce the outages period upto three and half hours. -APP
ADB raises alarm over 'serious' funding pressures
Says authorities being pressed from all sides
WASHINGTON: A likely decline in Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves is putting it on an 'unsustainable' path, a senior ADB official says Pakistan is on a “clearly unsustainable” economic path that could be driving the country towards running out of money, a senior Asian Development Bank official told Emerging Markets on the sidelines of a conference here. Klaus Gerhaeusser, director general of the ADB’s central and west Asia
department, pointed to “serious and immediate pressures on the current account side” facing Pakistan in the months ahead. Pakistan faces repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) totalling $700 million between elections scheduled for 11 May and the end of the financial year at the close of June. Gerhaeusser said that would bring Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves down to $6 billion at best, from just north of $6.5 billion at present. “There are pressures on [Pakistan’s
authorities] from all sides,” he said. “The availability of reserves is a serious and binding constraint.” The ADB’s Pakistan country director, Werner Liepach, warned in March that the country was running out of money and would need to secure loan commitments of up to $9 billion by the end of the year. Liepach said Pakistan faced a “critical” balance of payments situation, noting that the country has enough hard currency to cover only two months of imports. Even that number has fallen – by the end of April Pakistan’s hard
currency reserves amounted to only around 45 days worth of imports. The IMF considers between two and three months’ imports coverage the bare minimum required for any developing country seeking to cushion itself against sovereign bankruptcy. “The way they are going, the path they are on, is clearly unsustainable,” Gerhaeusser added. The ADB official said the first order of business for a new Pakistan government on 11 May would be to call the IMF and ask for working capital. “The IMF is the obvious solution,” he said. “They provide clear measures that can resolve [the
country’s] financial issues, providing the country with dollar reserves and helping” trim its massive deficit. The IMF declined to comment yesterday. Pakistan’s economy is set to expand this year by 3.3% – low for a developing Asian nation. Its fiscal deficit peaked at 8.5% in 2012 and is on track to finish the year “at around or above 7.7%” providing further “serious pressures on the current account side”, Gerhaeusser said. Earlier, Liepach warned that Pakistan needed at least “$6 billion to $9 billion” before the end of the year. Pakistan media reports say a new set of leaders sworn in at the end of next
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.
week are likely to ask for at least $5 billion in immediate loans from the IMF. In 2008, the country secured an $11 billion loan from the fund, but the programme was suspended in 2011 after economic targets were missed. Once an IMF loan is secured, the ADB has up to $400 million ready to channel into Pakistan’s social security system. “This would be part of a sustainable scheme that includes the issuance of identity cards, and which is designed to help the poorest of the poor,” Gerhaeusser said. “There is a lot more [multilateral] support that could [flow in once] the IMF loan is in place.”
Published on May 6, 2013