ALEEM KHAN DOWN BUT IS HE OUT? PG I 03 Jamadi-us-Saani 02, 1434
SATuRdAy April 13, 2013
TEN QUESTIONS TO THE LEFT
RICH MAN’S ELECTION, POOR MAN’S FARCE
– IMDAD HUSSAIN
– SAEED MINHAS
PG I 06
PG I 07
Vol, V, No. 359
TODAY’S WEATHER HIGH: 35 LoW: 18 clouds and sun
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
Sindh government reshuffles bureaucracy on ECP orders
Election Commission directs Establishment Division to replace Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police chief
OUR STAFF REPORTERS
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The Sindh government, on the orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), has overhauled the bureaucracy in the province. The provincial government has changed deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, secretaries and director generals in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, Sukkur and Larkana. ECP had given the caretaker
government seven days to appoint competent officials on the posts of chief secretary, secretaries of education, local government, home department, the deputy commissioners, and education and police officers in the province. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday directed caretaker government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to immediately remove Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammad Akbar Khan Hoti on the ground that six of his cousins were contesting the general election. In a
letter written to the Establishment Division secretary, the ECP asked the former to issue necessary directions for immediate replacement of the Inspector General (Police) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a suitable person of established neutrality. For the purpose, keeping in view his seniority and reputation, Khalid Masood, Additional Inspector General (Police) KPK must be considered, it added. It also sought compliance report in this regard within three days. Justifying the move, Secretary ECP Ishtiak Ahmad
Khan said the Commission was trying to ensure impartiality in all the four provinces. Talking to reporters, he said the ECP was devising a strategy to monitor the activities of around 500 Returning Officers. Meanwhile, an election tribunal in Lahore dismissed the petitions filed against the nomination papers of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif from NA-120, as it resumed hearing of pleas against nomination papers on Friday. In Sukkur, the election tribunal also rejected the objections raised against Qaim Ali Shah
PPP announces candidates from South Punjab MULTAN: The PPP has announced its candidates from South Punjab to contest general elections. They include Ali Musa Gilani‚ Abdul Qadir Gilani‚ Ahmad Mujtaba Gilani‚ Abdul Qayyum Jatoi‚ Sardar Bahadur Khan‚ Rana Mohammad Faraz Noon‚ Khadeeja Ahmad Varan‚ Sahibzada Munawar Hayat‚ Ghulam Rabbani Khar‚ Jahanzeb Drishak‚ Akhtar Ali Lalika‚ Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal‚ Chaudhry Mazhar Iqbal‚ Javed Iqbal‚ Makhdoom Syed Mahmood‚ Mian Abdul Sattar‚ Natasha Daultana‚ Moazzam Ali Khan Jatoi‚ Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmad Khan and Makhdoom Shahabuddin. –ONLINE and Agha Siraj Durrani. It also allowed Qaim to contest polls from PS-29. Another tribunal is likely to
Limited strikes on few occasions
SNEAK PEEK Pmdc targets elimination of quacks, ‘evil’ promoting ads
Musharraf admits drone deal with US
The Pakistan Medical & Dental Council has decided a plan to prevent non-doctors from practicing and to avoid more cases of fake medical registrations in future. The NADRA, PEMRA and APNS will assist PMDC in this regard. Page 02
khosa ‘pleads’ cJP should not sit on Fasih case bench Latif Khosa, the counsel for NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari said on Friday that if the Supreme Court rejected his client’s intracourt appeal then this would be discriminatory behaviour as it had declared the appeal of former PM Gilani hearable. Page 04
Sikh pilgrims give colour to spring in Hassanabdal In Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hassanabdal, the Besakhi celebrations are going on, as Sikh pilgrims not only from Pakistan but from other countries are participating in the holy gathering. Most of the foreigners have come from Canada, UK, US and India, while their total is around 3,000. Around 1,600 pilgrims have arrived at Hassanabdal to take part in the religious gathering. Page 05
SBP keeps policy rate unchanged at 9.5pc State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 9.5 percent. The decision was taken by the Central Board of Directors of SBP at its meeting held under the chairmanship of Governor, Mr. Yaseen Anwar in Karachi Friday. Page 09
don’t want to hire anyone for Jal: Goher mumtaz Singer Goher Mumtaz, who started Pakistanbased band Jal, is not looking forward to any more additions to his team, saying he is happy jamming with Aamir Shazi. Started by Goher in 2002 in Lahore, he first uploaded a video of the song ‘Aadat’ on a local web portal. He was later joined by Shazi and Atif Aslam, but after certain highs and lows, Jal has now stablised itself as a two-member band. Page 10
Nadal begins his bid for 9th successive title tomorrow It's 10 years since the rankings didn't feature either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the top two, but current leading men, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, still face a test of claycourt nerve. On Sunday (tomorrow), Nadal begins his bid for a ninth successive Monte Carlo Masters title. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who was seven months out of action with a knee injury, has already hammered home his claycourt dominance in 2013 with comeback titles at Sao Paulo and Acapulco. Page 11
issue a verdict over the appeal of Pervez Musharraf to contest elections from Kasur.
ISLAMABAD: Student of Jamia Hafsa removing the party posters of Pervez Musharraf from the poles near Melody Market.–ONLINE
Talks with militants
ANP braved huge US pressure: Wali
Says army was called in Swat by MMA government
PERVAIZ AKHTAR ZIA
The Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan says his party ignored tremendous US pressure not to enter into peace agreement with militants in Swat. The ANP chief was responding to a question in a wide-ranging interview with Radio Pakistan as part of coverage of Elections-2013. The interview was broadcast simultaneously by Radio Pakistan and Business Plus TV. Asked he was known for antiAmericanism and how he became pro-US‚ Asfandyar Wali said that before Swat peace agreement‚ US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and then Ambassador Anne Patterson pressed him not to go for peace deal at a 50-minute meeting at Frontier House in Islamabad. Asfandyar said he never had such a bitter meeting with any one as was the meeting with Richard Boucher. He said he categorically told the American side that “we know our traditions and customs very well and we have to go for the peace deal.” The ANP leader said they went ahead with peace agreement with militants in Swat but it was violated by
the other side and writ of the government was challenged. In this backdrop‚ there was no other choice than to go for the operation. Asfandyar said the operation against extremists and terrorists in Swat and Malakand succeeded as it had political ownership. The ANP chief‚ however‚ made it clear that the army was called in Swat not by ANP but the then MMA government in the province. Asked why ANP deviated from traditional anti-establishment and antiPunjab politics‚ Asfandyar Wali Khan said they never opposed the state but were critical of the policies of the establishment. “Now‚ after thirty years down the history‚ the establishment has reached the same conclusion that we were espousing thirty years back on the issue of terrorism and extremism.” Similarly‚ he said‚ they were not against people of Punjab or the province itself but against the policies. He said now that the Punjab was fighting for rights of the provinces along with other provinces‚ there was no cause for difference or criticism. RELATEd SToRy
First part of full text on Page 3
Jamia Hafsa students tear APML posters HOMER BALOCH
ISLAMABAD: The female students of Jamia Hafsa, along with some men, on Friday damaged the posters of Dr Amjad, a candidate of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), in Aabpara during a demonstration against Pervez Musharraf. Around 20 women and 10 men protesters, some of brandishing pistols, tore apart the posters and raised slogans against him and the former president. They also painted abusive language against Musharraf on the footpaths. One of the women demonstrators told The Spokesman that the former dictator president and chief of Pakistan Army deserves much worse as he was involved in murdering thousands of students in Jamia Hafsa and Lal Masjid in July 2007. On the other hand, Sarfaraz Ghori, a member of APML, said that the demonstration was held on the directives of someone who feared the popularity of APML and its leader General Musharraf. Dr Amjad could not be reached for his comments on the issue.
ISLAMABAD: Ex-Pakistani Pervez Musharraf President acknowledged his government secretly signed off on U.S. drone strikes, the first time a top past or present Pakistani official has admitted publicly to such a deal. Pakistani leaders long have openly challenged the drone programme and insisted they had no part in it. Musharraf 's admission, though, suggests he and others did play some role, even if they didn't oversee the programme or approve every attack. In an interview this week in Islamabad, Musharraf insisted Pakistan's government signed off on strikes "only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage." Still, his admission that Pakistani leaders agreed to even a limited number of strikes runs counter to their repeated denunciations of a programme they long claimed the United States was operating without their approval. The drone strikes -which the nonpartisan public policy group New American Foundation estimates have killed at least 1,990
people in Pakistan, including hundreds of civilians -- are unpopular in Pakistan. Unmanned U.S. drones began launching attacks in Pakistan in 2004, by which time Musharraf had been president for five years after taking power in a bloodless coup. Musharraf said that Pakistani leaders would okay U.S. drone strikes after discussions involving military and intelligence units and only if "there was no time for our own ... military to act." This happened "only rarely," said Musharraf, who left office in 2008 and spent years in exile before returning to Pakistan last month to launch a political comeback. But sometimes, he said, "you couldn't delay action." "These ups and downs kept going," he said. "It was a very fluid situation, a vicious enemy, ... mountains, inaccessible areas." Musharraf said that one of those killed by US drones was Nek Mohammed, a tribal leader accused of harbouring al Qaeda militants in Pakistan's western border region. –ONLINE
Enough is enough
It’s time for accountability: CJ ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry Friday remarked that looting and plundering was prevalent in the entire country. “The aim of the court is to protect the national asset. We will not allow anyone to plunder the national wealth. Enough is enough and time has come for accountability.” He made these remarks while hearing the case regarding CNG licences awarded during the tenures of former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf. The SC expressed displeasure over the non-implementation of
its orders while directed the FIA to monitor the record of OGRA. The court ordered the director general of FIA to seize the entire record of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority. The DG OGRA apprised the court that the files could not be brought to the court due to their volume. The CJP said DG OGRA deliberately concealed facts. “He is trying to be over smart but it will not work here.” The three-member bench delayed the action against DG ORGRA and adjourned the hearing till April 15. –ONLINEK
Caretakers not taking care of business SAEED MINHAS ISLAMABAD: The Spokesman found on Friday that the federal and provincial caretaker governments are busy understanding the financial health of their respective governments and obliging their known bureaucrats rather than concentrating on implementing the Code of Conduct (CoC) announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan for Election 2013. Several transfers and postings of secretaries, IG of Police and even lower ranking police officials and judiciary has so far remained the main occupation of the caretaker governments, whereas violation of the ECP’s CoC are on the rise with regard to the size of posters,
billboards, banners, political violence, rallies, use of official buildings and even vehicles are still the norm in all provinces. With Punjab leading the example in all these aspects, Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi seems to deal more with transfers and postings than ensuring smooth elections. Sindh Caretaker CM Zahid Qurban Alvi seems to be doing the same despite the carnage in Karachi. Tariq Pervaiz, the CM of KP, has security problems but other than getting bullet proof vehicles, he seems to be at a loss for peaceful elections. Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, Caretaker CM of Balochistan, is reportedly more busy in protocol duties of PM Mir Hazar Khan Khoso than finding time to look into the law and order situation.
The purpose of the caretaker set up was to ensure free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections. More than 55 deaths have been reported across Pakistan in the three weeks they have been running government. More than 70 people died in the four provinces between March 24 and April 5. Another 119 were injured in political violence across the country this period. Understandably KP and FATA top the list of such incidents but Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh are no exception, where independent observer groups have reported an increase in murders, kidnapping and even intimidation. A recently released report revealed chilling details about how prepared police apparatus is for the upcoming elections. More than half of DPOs
were unaware of any CoC, security plan or guidelines from the caretaker chief ministers. It was the same in Islamabad, where the capital's police did not know much about how to coordinate and cooperate with government institutions for peaceful elections. Political parties too are gearing up for elections after crossing unwarranted hurdles of the returning officers. Political rallies are being taken out across Pakistan in complete disregard for the ECP’s CoC. Being the main battlegrounds for the elections, Sindh and Punjab caretaker governments are leading the list of main violators of ECP’s CoC. According to a report of free and fair election network, all main political parties are blatantly violating the CoC with over-sized banners and posters
— those too on government buildings — besides taking out political rallies and inciting violence. Out of 58 rallies by candidates of political parties and independent candidates in 27 constituencies between March 24 and April 1, 2013, 27 were held in 13 constituencies of Sindh, 21 in eight constituencies of Punjab, eight in four KP constituencies and two in as many constituencies of Balochistan. The largest number of violations of the ECP Code of Conduct was at rallies held by PPPP with 22 violations at 13 rallies. Observers noted 18 violations at 13 rallies of PML-N. Rallies of independent candidates included six code violations, followed by rallies of PML, PML-F, PAT with three violations each.
CMYK SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
CDA assures water supply to residents ISLAMABAD: Capital Development Authority Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz has assured frequent water supply to federal capital residents, ensuring effective, concrete measures to cope with water deficiency in the upcoming summer. Stating this during a meeting at the CDA headquarters here on Thursday, he directed the officers of concerned formations to take effective measures for uninterrupted supply of water from Khanpur and Simly dams. He also urged the concerned formations of the authority for necessary repair maintenance of water tankers, tube-wells and water filtration plants, and directed for replacement of filters at water filtration plants to ensure clean drinking water for the residents of the city. The CDA chairman also directed for submission of reports after examination of water samples in the concerned laboratory to ensure hygienic conditions. He expressed his plans to pay surprise visits to different sectors, in order to entertain complaints about water supply by the residents, while considering the increased demand of water in summer season, he requested the residents of the federal capital to avoid wastage of water to overcome water shortage. To keep equivalence in demand and supply of water, he urged the concerned formations of the authority to seek the cooperation of the people to meet the requirements of water. Among other issues, the Capital Development Authority chairman also directed Member Engineering to take up the matter of early launching of Chirah Dam Project to meet the future water requirements with the Government of Punjab. ONLINE
Shortage of beds, drugs troubles patients at PIMS
NAB to reward informers of electricity theft
ISLAMABAD: The shortage of beds, drugs and ill attitude of staff at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and Polyclinic hospital are creating massive problems for patients at Outdoor Patient Department and Emergency Ward. The PIMS patients said that despite of the fact that large expansion
IS LA MA BAD: The National Accountability Bureau has announced that law-abiding citizens who bring to the notice of the NAB instances of theft of electricity, and/or instances of misuse of authority by officials of electricity distribution companies and the persons who are using the services illegally will be rewarded. Informers will be paid reward money from the recovery of outstanding
had been made in the hospital to meet the growing needs since 1985 but still patients were facing problems. The patients at Polyclinic narrated the same agonising story that there was no bed available for them and they had given new date for hospitalisation every time they turned up to the hospital. A large
number of patients, at PIMS Emergency Ward had to sleep on the floor, attendants of the patients said. They said the patients were advised to either be admitted to the private wards or wait for their turn to get a bed. Serious patients were discharged because of unavailability of beds, they added. ONLINE
IJ Principal Road needs breakers, reflectors ISLAMABAD: Unplanned U-turns on IJ Principal Road have increased accidents due to lack of reflectors and speed breakers. Traffic police have abolished traffic signals and built Uturns on this road due to upsurge in public transport and heavy vehicular traffic. These U-turns have been raised hurriedly; therefore, they are causing road accidents. Due to over-speedy traffic on this high way, the small car owners, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians have to face difficulties in crossing the road. As no warning signs, reflectors and speed breakers have been erected on U-turns, therefore, road accidents have become a routine matter. The accidents can only be averted, if vehiclesâ€™ speed is retarded and only speed breakers and reflectors are effective to force the drivers to slow down their speed. The citizens have demanded immediate construction of speed breakers and installation of reflectors on U-turns at this busiest high way to control road accidents. ONLINE
Rodents play havoc in Magistrate Colony RAWALPINDI: Lack of campaign against the rodents by the departments concerned has put the residents of Magistrate Colony at the risk of outbreak of fatal epidemic. This colony is located in posh area of Satellite Town and is manned by the government employees but it has now turned into safe home for rodents and unsafe home for the inmates. The growing rodents bite incidents have gripped the inmates in horror. The cat-sized mice continue to go on biting spree unchecked and the children are their easy victims and it has become a routine day phenomenon for the hapless families residing in the colony. Four or five rodentsâ€™ bite incidents are reported daily and these mice launch their deadly offensive in broad daylight. They bite the children even when they are lying or sitting on the cot in sight of their parents. The heaps of garbage lying in every corner of the colony and in front of every home are the breeding grounds for these deadly mice. The rodentsâ€™ threat has grown so aggravated that they lay ambush even in the day and whenever they see a single person passing through any street they target him. ONLINE
IHC Bar polls today ISLAMABAD: The annual elections of Islamabad High Court Bar Association will be held today in which 1382 lawyers including 150 women lawyers will cast their votes. The polling time will continue from 8 am to 4 pm while Mr Haroon and MR Ghulam Mehboob are contesting for the seat of bar president. The contestants unveiled their manifestoes in a ceremony at IHCB auditorium. They vowed to provide welfare, medical and transport facilities to the lawyers, early establishment of special courts and induction of members of Islamabad Bar as judges in IHC. ONLINE
All Pakistan Chiristian League Chiarman Prof. Salamat Akhtar addressing a press confrence in National Press Club. THE SPOKESMAN
dues by the NAB in accordance with rules. This â€˜public noticeâ€™ by the NAB is intended to inform the general public, including defaulters of electricity, that the first phase of NAB operation against defaulters of electricity dues expired on April 4, 2013. Names of those defaulters who failed to deposit the amount due by them have been uploaded on the NAB website and forwarded to the media. ONLINE
Broken roads a serious threat to motorists A Hungarian artist performing with Pakistani counterparts at National Library Auditorium during an evening of classical music. THE SPOKESMAN
PMDC plan targets ending quackry, bad advertisements OUR STAFF REPORT
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical & Dental Council has decided a plan to prevent nondoctors from practicing and to avoid more cases of fake medical registrations in future. The NADRA, PEMRA and APNS will assist PMDC in this regard. Taking another bold decision, the PMDC has also decided to ask all medical colleges to allocate 50 percent beds for free for poor patients, a PMDC official told The Spokesman on Friday. The official further revealed that the council has decided to direct Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and All Pakistan
Newspapers Society â€œto avoid and stop publishing advertisements by quacks and nondoctorsâ€?. â€œThe quacks and non-doctors are, by using their fake registration or authorities, looting the public openly by publishing advertisements in different newspapers. The council has decided to direct the PEMRA and APNS to stop publishing advertisements by elements,â€? the official further revealed. He said that PMDC is also looking forward to planning a complete database of current medical staff and faculty registered with the council, with the collaboration of NADRA. The officer said that after maintaining a database, such incidents like the recent fake
medical registration scam will not occur in future. On the other hand, PMDC Administrator Dr. Raja Amjad Mahmood and its advisor Lt. Gen (retd) Rehan Burney, during a meeting with Federal Minister of National Regulatory Services Shahzada Jamal Nasir, have decided to formulate and assure all medical colleges to allocate 50 percent beds for free for poor patients. The free treatment includes consultation as well. The minister during the meeting has directed the PMDC officials to also establish a hotline network with all the private and public medical colleges to help-facilitate the patient complaints on war footings.
ISLAMABAD: The roads which have been broken or are deteriorating owing to heavy traffic are causing serious troubles for motorists in the city. These roads are said to have developed potholes which pose a serious threat to small vehicles and their drivers. The road from Sector I-11 to 7Up Chowk is in bad shape that gives the look of an under-construction thoroughfare at various places. "The condition of the road near the Islamabad Railway Station is very bad, where many vehicles have met with accidents merely due to potholes and bumpy sections," said Talha Nadeem, a resident of I-10/2, who uses this road to get to his office in Blue Area every day. â€œDuring the rain, the road turns into a pond and drivers cannot spot the â€˜cratersâ€™, which eventually damage their vehicles,â€? he added. A taxi driver said that there were big holes in the centre of the road in front of H-9 College, but the authorities concerned seemed to be least interested in repairing it. He also pointed out some dangerous potholes on the Kashmir Road between Peshawar Morr to G-10 turning which needed urgent repairing. ONLINE
Fasih, Mailk cases Circulation of put off indefinitely fake currency notes grows I SL AM ABAD : The Supreme Court of Pakistan has adjourned hearing of intra-court appeals of NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari and former interior minister Rehman Malik for indefinite period. The SCâ€™s five-member bench headed by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali took up the intra court appeals for hearing on Friday. The court was told that attorney general was unwell; therefore, he could not appear in the court. The court expressed displeasure over the absence of the AG remarking that the AG was to give reply with respect to such important matter today but he had not appeared. It may be mentioned that Sardar Latif Khosa, the counsel for NAB chairman, had prayed the court, if intra court appeal in respect of former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani could be admitted for hearing, then the appeal with regard to his client be also admitted. However, Justice Saqib Nisar insisted that intra court appeal was not maintainable and he was not satisfied mentally on this count remarking â€œtherefore, we ask from AG to the effect that the appeal is maintainable or otherwiseâ€?. ONLINE
I SLAMABAD: The circulation of fake notes of Rs 1000 currency denomination is continuing unchecked in markets in the Karachi Company. The flow of the fake notes makes its rapid way in rush hours, particularly in the evening, when all the shops are thronged by the consumers. The cloth shops are the easy targets of the fake currency dealers. â€œSome criminals are active behind the fishy business of fake currency notes. The members of these gangs come in our shops, dressed in gorgeous fancy outfits and leave us in enormous loss through payment of fake currency notes,â€? said Anjam, a shopkeeper. The small traders and shop keepers demanded immediate action against the elements involved in fake currency notes business. ONLINE
A container loaded with bottles of liquor is standing at police station after seizure. ONLINE
Lok Mela featuring rural heritage kicks off SHANEL KHALIQ
Pakhtun artists performing at Lok Virsa Folk Festival. (Right) A Lok artist singing a cultural song. THE SPOKESMAN
ISLAMABAD: The vibrant and colourful folk festival titled â€œLok Melaâ€? kicked off at Shakarparian on Friday. It features the cultural rural heritage of Pakistan. The 10-day event on traditional art and cultural heritage of Pakistan has been organised by the Ministry of National Heritage and Integration through National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage. It features an exhibition showcasing traditional artisans at work. In this festival, each province has been allocated specific cultural pavilions along with promotional stalls by public organisations and NGOs. The festival will also present folkloric songs and dance ensembles by the rural musicians.
According to Lok Virsa, more than 500 artisans from the remote areas of the country are participating and showcasing their creativity and craft. The festival provides rural artisans to sell their products in the market without being exploited commercially at the hands of the middlemen. The festivalâ€™s inaugural ceremony witnessed cultural performances by the representatives of all the provinces. According to Lok Virsaâ€™s tradition, the festival started with the Chadar Poshi of a female craftswoman from Gilgit Baltistan namely Mst Nijat Bibi. The chief guest performed the chadar poshi by placing a chadar on her shoulder. The 77-year old Nijat Bibi learnt the art of cross stitch embroidery from her mother at the age of 10. She not only kept this art alive but also
transferred it to scores of girls in the region, thereby playing her part in preserving the valuable Pakistani cultural heritage. Inaugurating the event, Minister of State for National Regulations and Service Shahzada Jamal Nazir emphasised the significance of traditions and cultural values as the identity of any nation. He applauded Lok Virsaâ€™s efforts preserving this indigenous folk tradition and promoting it at the international level. Highlighting the significance of art and culture, he added â€œwe can defeat terrorism and extremism by promoting our cultural heritage and projecting it to the rest of the world.â€? He also praised the fact that Lok Virsa had given due representation to all provinces and regions in presenting their traditional culture.
POWER ALLEYS |
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law aˇ I solemnly declare that these a˘e absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’ˆ hesitate to share with us on our blog at www.thespokesman.pk
Aleem Khan down but is he out?
mran Khan is believed to have put his foot down in making Aleem Khan withdraw from his controversial National Assembly seat. But he may still be compensated for with a provincial seat in Defence. Another development that has come from the PTI sources is that Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed has been replaced from NA 126 with Shafqat Mahmood.Mahmood was considered as an appropriate candidate for the posh Gulberg area, which has come as surprise for Shafqat who was virtually out of the electoral race. Aleem Khan’s decision was crucial for Imran Khan, who faced intense criticism from within and outside the party. Aleem was accused of buying his way to become the Lahore District President and in the process corrupting the party machinery. He faced immense allegations for rigging the internal elections. Imran faced a virtual revolt in many quarters. The crux was: If you can’t control corruption within the party, how could you claim to do that in the country? The decision was also taken to remove the stigma in the upcoming national election polls. Aleem Khan, Sheeshnag is told, is down but not out. He was making last minute effort to make Imran change the decision. He’s got the support of Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umer and even Shah Mahmood Qureshi. How such people gang up.
Poverty forces transgender Resham into battle with Chaudhries of Gujrat MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD
GUJRAT: Chaudhary Pervez Illahi
and Chaudhary Ahmed Muhktar might have entered a tough clash of titans in NA 105 to save their pride in May 11 elections but Resham has stood up to remove poverty from the city of Gujrat and solve the common man's problems. Born to a small farmer, 32-yearold transgender Zahid Khan alias Resham has been dancing in Gujrat and its surroundings for the last 19 years and has created a large fan following of well wishers in the town. Although she has seemingly little chance of winning, she still braved herself to stand for the contest, which is already involving two heavyweights and has become one of the most interesting election battles in decades. "I have stood up against inflation and poverty in Gujrat district. Both the Chaudhary families have failed to solve these problems so I have come
to the forefront to fight for the poor people," she told The Spokesman in her house in downtown Gujrat city, meters away from Chaudhary Zahoor Illahi’s palace. "I have been interacting with women for the last many years. They are very worried today because of inflation. If the women are worried, it means nobody is happy and I will try to remove their problems," she said. Resham thinks that the worries of the people prove that the representatives have failed and there should be a change. "If our representatives had played their due role, the people of Gujrat would have not been worried about poverty and inflation, and if they are worried it means that the public leaders did not play their role for the development and welfare of the people," she said without saying much against her rivals. She, however, claims that she will get more than 60,000 votes in the May 11 elections.
"I am sure about getting more than 60,000 votes. I may get more because I have thousands of fans in Gujrat and women are also supporting me in big numbers," she said.
Although she has deferred her election campaign till the time she gets an elections symbol, she is still organizing corner meetings of women and claims that she is getting a huge response. "I have addressed 7 corner meetings so far and around 1,200 women have pledged to vote for me. This support will increase as the election campaign will gain momentum," she added. Her front door neighbour Sobia Ali says Resham's kindness will win her elections. "She is a very kind person and helps poor. She has helped a lot of people and I am sure she will win, we all will vote for her," she said. "She likes to work for the development of our colony. We will support her," said Rasulan Bibi, another woman living in her street. Common people in the city severely criticize both Chaudhary families but also take Resham as a joke. "Where have all the men of Gujrat gone as a transgender has to contest our Chaudharies," said Riffatullah, a shopkeeper. "I am not very fond of these people, otherwise I would have voted for her," he said adding that he has been disappointed by politics and would
"I am sure about getting more than 60,000 votes. I may get more because I have thousands of fans in Gujrat and women are also supporting me in big numbers," she said.
not vote for anybody. "I hate the old politicians who robbed our country. If we can't have good politicians from the political parties, than we will vote for these transgenders. I think they can do better than the corrupt old politicians," said Jameel Akhtar, owner of a grocery shop in Machli chowk.
The text of interview with ANP President Asfandyar Wali—I Anchorperson-Aamir: We have Awami
National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali with us today. Wali‚ your family is in politics for the last three generations‚ but what was your experience as your party was part of ruling coalition during past five years. Asfandyar Wali: It was a wonderful experience‚ as students of politics know that ANP remained in opposition for most of the time. So‚ it was a wonderful experience‚ as we did‚ what we were unable to do by sitting at opposition benches. Aamir: For example‚ what were the achievements of your party? Asfandyar Wali: ANP has its thrust on 18th amendment‚ because it was an issue of provincial autonomy and it was an issue of federation of Pakistan. Pakistan is the only country of the world after approval of 18th amendment‚ which has no concurrent list. People quote India as good example of federation‚ but there is concurrent list in Indian Constitution. NFC Award‚ which has been covered by 18th amendment‚ is another achievement. Now‚ the share of province cannot be reduced; however‚ it can be increased. So‚ these two things are major achievements. Aamir: The people have complaints regarding the performance of the previous government‚ because of the issues of power load-shedding‚ shortage of gas and also because of price-hike. Are you ready to accept responsibility for these issues as well? Asfandyar Wali: The previous government was not solely responsible for the shortage of electricity and gas in the country. You will have to see as to when last power station was constructed in the country. I was in a seminar in Lahore in Staff College. I was questioned about construction of Kalabagh Dam [KBD] and it was stated that ANP leadership is responsible for opposing KBD and therefore‚ it should be tried under treason charges. I responded that the parliament‚ which emerged after elections on non-party basis‚ first of all opposed the construction of the dam. Secondly‚ why WAPDA has not worked on some other option‚ when the authority had become aware in 1986 that the project of KBD is controversial? The shortage of power is accumulative‚ because our population is growing with the passage of time and resources are not sufficient to meet the requirements.
Aamir: Do you think that there would have some better level of governance‚ especially to deal with the shortage of gas‚ price-hike and the allegations of large-scale corruption? Asfandyar Wali: No government of the world can be described politically ideal. As far as corruption is concerned‚ you can easily level allegations of corruption against any person. The task of proving corruption is a difficult task. Aamir: There had been allegations of large-scale corruption from Transparency International against federal government and also against provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [KPK] but tell us if you are satisfied with your alliance with PPP. Asfandyar Wali: ANP has faced the allegations of treason in the past and its leaders were sent into prisons. ANP leadership has faced the consequences of staying in opposition in the past. I shall justify my coalition with PPP‚ as ANP has emerged as victorious‚ because it was fighting for the name of the province. Firing was opened on ANP meeting in 1948‚ killing 610 people. The struggle was only for getting identity. In the parliament‚ I had been raising voice for the identity. Now‚ we have succeeded in getting the identity. We have succeeded in getting provincial autonomy. So‚ I shall say that I am presenting my party before the public on basis of its achievements. Aamir: Has partnership with Asif Zardari helped improve your popularity in your area or it caused damage to your party? Asfandyar Wali: Every party has its own vote-bank. The change in vote-bank is rare. It is imprudent to judge popularity of a party by number of people in its public meetings. Certainly‚ there would be some people‚ who were not happy with the coalition of ANP with PPP. ANP workers have a characteristic that they do not like the slogans of other parties and they automatically come in the party‚ when they saw that a certain party is chanting slogans against ANP. ANP worker can stay away from the polling process‚ but he cannot vote in favor of any other party. Aamir: How ANP sees itself ideological party under present circumstances‚ when it was historically against the monopoly of Punjab‚ against the policies of America and the establishment? I want to ask if ANP is still following
politics of ideology or if there exists politics of ideology under present circumstances‚ when ANP was doing politics of nationalism‚ secularism and democracy in the past. Asfandyar Wali: ANP had not sacrificed lives of its 880 workers if there would not have been politics of ideology. They [Taliban] also admit that there is a difference of ideology with us. So‚ politics of ideology has not ended‚ at least in Pashtoons. Aamir: I am talking about change in ideology. Asfandyar Wali: What change? Aamir: I am talking about change in ANP ideology regarding Punjab. Asfandyar Wali: Punjab has played its role in 18th amendment and it was a unanimous role. I was not opposing Punjab as province or the people of Punjab; instead I was opposing Punjabi elite‚ because of their policies. Why should I oppose Punjab‚ when people of the province are also fighting with us for the cause of federation? Aamir: Where do you place yourself regarding establishment under present circumstances‚ when you had been in power during past five years‚ particularly in view of your past stance against establishment and the United States and also because of army operation in Swat and FATA? Asfandyar Wali: I want to make it clear that the army was called in in Swat by previous MMA government. As far as America is concerned‚ you cannot even imagine the pressure on the ANP leadership‚ when it decided to ink agreement [with Sufi Muhammad] in Swat. [Richard] Boucher met me in KPK House. It was one of the worst meetings of my life‚ as he was saying that the agreement should not be inked. I said that we shall sign this agreement‚ as we are aware of our traditions. Anne Paterson was also present in the meeting‚ which lasted for about 45-50 minutes. So‚ we inked that agreement‚ but when it was violated the writ of the government was challenged‚ then there was no other option‚ except to start operation. I want to make it clear here that a political party can only resist against terrorism and extremism‚ but it is duty of the state to eliminate the terrorism and extremism‚ as a political party cannot do it. We resisted and we have been resisting and resultantly‚ you know that questions
are being asked about Kalma Tayyaba and there are questions regarding the wives‚ as to which one is favorite? But I shall ask them [Election Commission] today whether free and fair elections will be held or whether they have provided the level playing field to all the political parties. Adnan Wazir is my candidate. He started his election campaign and he took out a rally and he faced suicide attack. Today‚ my candidates cannot run election campaigns openly and cannot hold rallies‚ even though it is claimed that the coming elections will be historic‚ in terms of transparency. Ok‚ I agree‚ but coming back to what you said earlier‚ I want to say that the state and the establishment are the same thing. You cannot oppose the state‚ but one can have reservations against the policies of the establishment and we did it. When I came in the Assembly in 1993‚ you remember that we expressed our reservations that whatever you [establishment] were doing‚ we will have to face the consequences. I remember you were sitting in the gallery [of the parliament] and Nusrat [journalist] was also there. When Taliban captured Kandahar‚ I said on the floor of the House at that time to bring it on the record and I made it very clear that day that you [Pakistani government] is taking Afghanistan toward Talibanization‚ but you will not be able to restrict the Talibanization to Afghanistan only‚ as they [Taliban] will cross Durand Line‚ and if you remember that I still remember the words that were uttered that day. The then Prime Minister‚ Ms Benazir Bhutto (may her soul rest in peace) was also present in the House. It was said Allah may help Pakistan to save from the day‚ when FATA will be under the influence of Taliban and you also wrote article on this issue‚ and Nusrat also wrote article on the issue. We have been fighting against these elements for past 30 years and now the state has reached upon a conclusion and it has now reached on a point‚ where we were 30 years back‚ then why should I criticize the establishment. Aamir: Thirty-year is a long period. Can I ask you about the progress for taking steps to eliminate terrorism in past five years? Asfandyar Wali: I think and you will agree that in 2008-09‚ there was no government in Dir‚ Swat and Bunair.
There was no existence of the government in these areas. Today‚ the writ of the government has been restored in the areas. You cannot clean the dirt of 30-35 years in just five years‚ but you can see that Chitral‚ Swat‚ Dir‚ Bunair‚ Malakand and to a large extent Bajaur‚ these areas are now safe areas. A move is underway and now the areas are clear up to Khyber. I would like to say one thing to all of my colleagues that they should differentiate between the incidents of terrorism and the fight against the state‚ which challenges the writ of the government. No state of the world can claim that it has completely succeeded in controlling the terrorism and the isolated incidents of violence and I think that there is no other power‚ except Allah Almighty to protect you from suicide bombing. Examples are quoted regarding incidents‚ which are taking place in Matani and Badaber. You know that these areas are very close to the boundaries of the FATA. Now‚ the problem is limited to FATA only. Bajaur and Mohmand are almost clear‚ while Orakzai is comparatively clear. Kurram is also comparatively clear. Khyber Agency and the agencies of North and South Waziristan are the areas‚ which are troubled areas and it is unfortunate that Khyber is very close to Peshawar. Aamir: If life of a common man has been made secure in Swat‚ as you have stated that peace has been restored there and if your party will be able to win elections from Swat this time? Asfandyar Wali: ANP received 185
applications for the tickets in 2008‚ but after passage of five years‚ in spite of the threats of Ehsanullah Ahsan [TTP spokesman]‚ it will wonder you that ANP has received 427 applications from candidates of general elections‚ as compared to earlier figure of 185. I think this shows the mindset of the people. If you observe the parliamentary history of Pakistan‚ you will see no incumbent party comes into power again in Pakistan and for the same reasons‚ people describe it a game of musical chairs. Aamir: Would you deal with security concerns regardless of the number of applications‚ you have received‚ as I have recently visited Charsadda‚ where people are complaining that Khan Sahib (Asfandyar Wali) never visits their area. Asfandyar Wali: I am ready to present my life and I am ready to render sacrifice of my life if Ehsanullah Ahsan or Hakeemullah Mehsud want to kill me. I can bear loss of my life‚ but I am concerned about the lives of people. Three attacks have so far been carried out on the rallies of Aftab Khan Sherpao‚ one against Maulana Fazlur Rahman and another against me. You know leader generally remain safe in the attacks. If I am holding a rally‚ I can control it and I can secure it‚ but I cannot secure the audience. So‚ if a mishap occurs‚ who will be the target? So‚ why should I put life of the people of my constituency in danger?
(To be continued)
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Imran borrows literacy model from Cuba, China, Philippines PAF invites Balochistan teachers, students to PAF educational institutions` ISLAMABAD: Under the auspices of Pakistan Air Force, a group of teachers and students from Baluchistan province arrived at PAF Base Nur Khan (Rawalpindi) on a three day visit to different PAF educational institutions today. The group comprising 10 teachers and 50 students, selected from all districts of Balochistan were airlifted in a C-130 aircraft from PAF Base Samungli (Quetta) to PAF Base Nur Khan (Rawalpindi). The group will visit PAF Academy Risalpur, PAF Public School Lower Topa, Fazaia Inter Colleges of Rawalpindi/Islamabad and PAF Selection Centre Rawalpindi. Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force has directed to undertake an orientation programme in the educational sector of Balochistan for promotion of national integration and to explore the young talent of under-developed areas of the province. In the first phase, a fivemember team from PAF visited Sibi Division and conducted a 10-day workshop for the teachers of government schools. In the next phase of the campaign, selected teachers from Baluchistan will be trained in preparing young students from Baluchistan for eventual selection for PAF Public Schools at Sargodha and Lower Topa. In consonance with the “Aghaz-eHuqooq-e-Balochistan” package launched by the federal government in November, 2009, PAF proactively encouraged the Baloch youth to facilitate their induction in PAF. ONLINE
L AH ORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has announced he will declare war on illiteracy in the country and will treat it as a national emergency when he assumes office. Khan said that he intends to create a specialist cabinet of advisors and implement a ten-year multipronged plan to reach full literacy in Pakistan. Illiteracy is one of the main factors holding back the country’s development and is closely related to the ongoing levels of poverty and income inequality. The statistics are somewhat daunting. Due to many years of underinvestment in education, some 42% of
the adult population (15-64 years) lack basic literacy and 44% of young children (5-10 years) are not even attending primary school, thereby perpetuating the problem. If Pakistan is to reach its stated goal of full literacy by 2025, then a twin track approach is needed to expand primary education to universal access and to tackle the adult illiteracy problem with all available resources. The PTI has already committed to expanding the education budget to 5% of GDP, making another Rs 8,687 million available for investment in the necessary schools and trained teachers. However, the need in the primary education sector is for
another 120,000 schools and 342,000 teachers, almost doubling the primary sector and leaving very little for an effective adult literacy campaign. A report prepared by Dr. Ibrahim’s suggests that a Khan government could learn from other countries such as Cuba, China and the Philippines which have achieved great progress in eliminating illiteracy through enthusiastic public commitment and wise use of existing resources. Aware that the initial investment in a mass literacy campaign can be significant, the report also points out costs will decline as each newly educated cohort of children enter the workforce and as newly
literate adults encourage their children to complete and further their education. A centrally organized and systemic mass campaign for adult literacy can bring about a reduction in family poverty, and by making it relevant to the lives of the poor, can be related to other development goals and help resolve some of Pakistan’s pressing social, economic and political problems. Illiteracy is both a cause of economic underdevelopment and a consequence of a stagnant economy. Investment in the futures of 44% of Pakistan’s primary school age children and 42% of the adult population will be a priority task for Pakistan’s new leadership. ONLINE
Terror war kills 550, injures 1,135 in first 100 days of year MUZAMMIL HUSSAIN SYED
Acceptance of Nisar’s papers victory of truth RAWALPINDI: The counsel for Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Akram Sheikh on Thursday said that acceptance of nomination papers of his client Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan from NA-53, PP 07 is the victory of justice and truth. He was talking to media after the hearing of appeal filed by Chaudhry Nisar against the rejection of his nomination papers. Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court held hearings and declared the decision of Returning Officer as null and void and accepted nomination papers of Chaudhry Nisar from NA-53 and PP 07. It is pertinent to mention that former minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan filed objections against Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. After the decision of the court, followers of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chanted slogans and regarded the decision as defeat of falsehood. ONLINE
Habib phones Altaf, condoles MQM killings KARACHI: Caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib has offered his deepest condolences to Muttahida Quami Movement leader Altaf Hussain, for the brutal killings of activists. According to a statement issued here, Malik Habib, who telephoned MQM leader late at night, condemned the premeditated slaying of MQM nominated election candidate from Hyderabad, Fakhrul Islam, MQM’s Literature Committee member, Shiraz, and other workers, who were gunned down in parts of Karachi. During the telephonic meeting, Altaf Hussain told the caretaker interior minister, the murders, unlawful raids, and unwarranted detentions of MQM workers were nothing but conspiracies to sabotage their election campaign. Malik Habib assured Altaf Hussain of his complete cooperation in addressing all the grievances. “If I have to, I will myself come down to Karachi and push the concerned authorities to get to the bottom of these violent acts of victimization leaving no culprit at large,” he added. ONLINE
Caretaker govt fully impartial, says Nizami ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Arif Nizami has said the caretaker government is fully impartial and determined to hold free‚ fair and transparent elections in the country. According to media reports, he said official media has been directed to assure fair and balanced coverage to all political parties. ONLINE
LAHORE: The splashy way to taking a dip in canal. ONLINE
Khosa ‘pleads’ CJP should not sit on Fasih case bench ISLAMABAD: Latif Khosa, the counsel for NAB Chairman Fasih Bokhari said on Friday that if the Supreme Court rejected his client’s intra-court appeal then this would be discriminatory behaviour as it had declared the appeal of former PM Gilani hearable. On Thursday the five-member larger bench resumed the hearing under the supervision of Justice Zaheer Anwar Jamali during which Justice Saqib Nisar said, “If the court does not issue final stay order in any matter, it cannot be considered for appeal, so in my opinion the case is not fit for intra-court appeal.” Latif Khosa said that Chief Justice Iftikhar
Chaudhary should depart himself from the proceeding of the case as in the Arslan Iftikhar case it was blamed that Admiral Fasih Bukhari had terms with Malik Riaz and his daughter was serving in property tycoon’s firm. “If the CJP hears this case, it will give an impact of his partiality,” he said. Justice Jamali said that this fact could not be ignored that the CJP has a vast experience of 45 years and his 20 years record as judge is spotless. It is not necessary that the same bench would hear the case which frames charges on the accused. On which Latif Khosa said that the media takes the remarks of the court as decision
whereas the remarks are not the part of the order. Justice Ijaz Afzal said that the court gives decision according to the law. Justice Jamali said that court does not want to put ban on freedom of media. He said that the responsibility for statement of Arslan Iftikhar cannot be fixed on his father. Khosa said that the Supreme Court had itself said in several decisions that it can not create hurdles in the investigations. The court adjourned the hearing till today (Friday) and called Attorney General to tell the court that either the case is appeal able. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: The ongoing war on terror took 550 lives while 1,145 people were injured across Pakistan in first 100 days of the current year. Fifty-six bomb blasts, including 12 suicide attacksm, took the above mentioned lives. According to official statistics, the terrorists carried out 56 bomb attacks at 52 targets, killing 480 civilians as well as 54 soldiers and 21 policemen. As many as 1,145 more were injured in the attacks. Among them 1,025 were civilians. Some 48 soldiers and 24 policemen lost their lives while four members of Frontier Constabulary were also killed in the attacks. During this period, the terrorist conducted 12 suicide attacks: one in January, four in February, six in March and one in April, killing 327 people. Quetta remained the worst-hit area where 223 people lost their lives in three major bomb attacks. The attacks on civilians spread panic among masses triggering countrywide protests against the incidents. Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan were equally bad, with 19 bomb attacks. These areas were followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan, where 18, 10 and seven bomb incidents took place, respectively.
Bomb defused outside mosque KARACHI: The Bomb Disposal Squad on Friday defused a one kilogramme bomb near a mosque in Garden area of the city. After receiving information about the bomb, the BDS personnel successfully defused it, SSP City Ahmed Jamal said. The bomb was kept in a bag near the gate of the Gulzar-e-Habib mosque. Tension prevailed in the area after knowing about the bomb. ONLINE
Artwork by tiny hands welcomes street kids day SHANEL KHALIQ
I SL AM ABAD. Art work made from the tiny and talented hands of young street children embellished the walls of Bazaar Court at Serena Hotel to mark the International Day for Street Children 2013 in Islamabad. The exhibition has been organized by Lettuce Bee Kids in collaboration with Serena Environmental and Educational Development, to showcase and sell the artwork made by young street children who have no direct access to education. The evening featured live music, mouth watering delights and heartwarming stories of young children who live along the streets. The idea behind celebrating an International Day for Street Children is to provide millions of these children with a platform to speak out so that their rights are not ignored. The year 2013 witnesses the launch of a petition to “Demand a Day” and call for recognition by the United Nations. The day is therefore celebrated by NGOs, policy makers, businesses and celebrities across the globe. The Chief Guest, H.E. Richard Olson, Ambassador of the Embassy of the United States of America in Pakistan, while speaking on the occasion appreciated the work of Lettuce Bee Kids in this great cause and said that he was
thoroughly pleased to know that the initiative was started by a group of talented Fullbright alumni. In view of the international Day for Street Children he said that the US embassy was happy to lend their support. “This initiative is important because it emphasizes self sustenance”, he added while applauding the efforts. Laura Brown, Cultural Attaché for the US embassy told The Spokesman that it makes them proud to be present on the occasion and to know that an initiative like Lettuce Bee Kids has been started by a group of Fullbright alumni who have returned after completing their education in the US.“We are thoroughly interested in cultural exchange and this programme is a brilliant way of giving something back to the community”, she said. The Lettuce Bee Kids is a self sustaining social enterprise that aims to enable street children to reach their full potential by providing psychological, emotional, material and social support. Since its inception two years ago, their team has been working with 50 street children to help them produce artwork using different mediums. The programmeme also featured an auction of hand bags the proceeds of which would be invested in the programme to benefit the children.
PTI finalises strategy for Imran’s NA-122 seat
HYDERABAD: Street children learning to stitch, at the rehabilitation centre of SPARC for street children on the eve of International Day of Street Children. ONLINE
LAHORE: The election campaign of PTI Chairman Imran Khan from NA122 has been finalised and important decisions have been taken to drive a thrilling move in the area. Important meetings took place in this regard where Abdul Aleem Khan, who is also party candidate in PP-147, an associated seat with NA-122, said that every PTI worker would work day and night for the success of Imran Khan and he would look after this campaign himself. He said that the Lahorits would set a new record of voting in one constituency and ‘tsunami’ would start from this area. Addressing a combined meeting of NA-127 and PP-147, Abdul Aleem Khan called upon the party workers to fully ensure the code of conduct given by Election Commission of Pakistan and said that everyone would avoid violation in this regard. He said that the election of 2013 would definitely bring a country wide change and it would not be exchange of faces. ONLINE
RAWALPINDI: Students block Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Road during a demonstration against the killing of a student in a hostel at Commercial Market. ONLINE
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Sikh pilgrims give colour to spring in Hassanabdal Local and foreigners throng Gurdwara Panja Sahib Visitors from India ask both govts to soften visa regime to bring the two people closer RASHID ALI
ATTOCK: In Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hassanabdal, the Besakhi celebrations are going on, as Sikh pilgrims not only from Pakistan but from other countries are participating in the holy gathering. Most of the foreigners have come from Canada, UK, US and India, while their total is around 3,000. Around 1,600 pilgrims have arrived at Hassanabdal to take part in the religious gathering. Amid terror threats, foolproof security arrangements have been made in the vicinity while maximum services are being provided to the visitors to enable them perform religious rituals in a peaceful environment. One of the pilgrims from India, RK Kapoor who belongs to Delhi and is a retired deputy manager of State Bank
of India, says he has come to Pakistan for the first time and he can never forget the way he was welcomed (like other visitors) at Wagha border. He further told The Spokesman that his father was from Hafizabad (now a district in Pakistan’s Punjab) and he left for India at the time of partition. He asked the governments of both the countries to soften the conditions for issuance of visas so that people coming from both the sides can get the opportunity to see at least four to five cities of the other country and see the remains of their forefathers. Likewise, another visitor Charan Singh, who has come from Amritsar, says he is visiting the Gurdwara Panja Sahib for the third time and he gets so much love and warmth during every trip that he cannot even express it in words.
An elderly woman Santosh Lachak lamented that his parents were from Rawalpindi but, unfortunately, she could not see the remnants of her loved ones after coming the place so close to the city. She also called for a softened visa regime and demanded allowing the visitors from both countries to visit four to five cities during their stay. Another Indian Dharmendar Singh said it was his first visit to Pakistan but the reality was quite opposite to what he had been hearing about the country. “It is very nice to be in Pakistan and the love and affection he has received from Pakistanis cannot be explained in words.” Another Sikh pilgrim, Ambri Cowar said he faced lot of difficulties in getting visa from Pakistan. “This problem can be solved if the
government of both the countries soften their conditions so that they can derive benefit from it hundreds of thousands of people crossing the border because there are many religious places in Pakistan.” “Similarly, many religious places of Muslims are found in India. There is lack of mutual trust and both the neighbours are suffering on the account of that. Millions of people are being deprived of opportunities to visit these important places,” Cowar said, with the desire of peace in the region very much visible in his words. Meanwhile, elaborated security arrangements around Gurdwara Panja Sahib have badly affected the people in the surrounding areas as all the routes leading to the site have been sealed. The local residents are facing great hardships as they have to undergo
OUR STAFF REPROTER
National Party announces poll manifesto QUETTA: Chief of National Party Dr Abdul Malik has said their manifesto demands constitution of an independent commission on Balochistan situation. He expressed these views as he announced the National Party’s election manifesto on Friday. The manifesto demands constitution of an independent commission on Balochistan situation. It demands early recovery of missing political workers and withdrawal of cases against political leaders and workers. The manifesto calls for ensuring return of displaced persons. Dr Abdul Malik said his party would follow the policy of live and let live with neighbouring countries. He said that formula of NFC award should be changed and it should be based on area instead of population. –ONLINE
Fazl worried by law and order situation DI KHAN: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has expressed strong concerns over the worsening law and order situation of the country, condemning targeting of contesting candidates. Addressing a gathering at Mariali in connection withthe election campaign, he announced that talks were underway with political parties regarding seat adjustments. He said that despite being weak in their financial status were nevertheless endowed with enormous intellectual capabilities. “Time has come that both rulers and masses would have to sacrifice their personal interests over broader national interests,” he urged, reasoning that a new journey had to be undertaken. He also expressed strong optimism over the strong presence of JUI-F in region, while a total absence of PPP elements. “I have never been defeated (rejected) by masses, but ‘some other factors’ have played their hidden role,” he expressed. Replying to a question regarding surfacing of Bilawal in PPP ranks, he said that this was the internal matter of PPP. He also said the DI Khan mandate always affected the international agendas. –ONLINE
the government to issue them passes so that they can reach their homes without facing any hurdles.
Kayani Rs 71.1 million bank fraud inaugurates UAE-funded projects
ANP candidates under attack
SWABI: The Awami National Party (ANP) is facing tough times as militants are attacking its candidates regularly, in an attempt to sabotage its election campaign. In a similar attack on Friday, hand grenades were hurled at the ANP candidates, which resulted in injuries to one of the party workers. The main target of the attack was former MNA Haji Rehmanullah and his son, former MPA Ameer Rehman, survived the attempt. Rehmanullah is contesting election from NA-12 (Swabi-I) and his son Ameer from PK-31 (Swabi-1). Rehmanullah, ANP’s district president said that they were on way to the party camp in Sheikh Jana for inaugurating an election campaign office there. When they reached the Shewa graveyard area, some unidentified attackers hurled two grenades at them. One of them was exploded while the other was collected by police. The incident resulted in injuring one of the party workers identified as Shamal Khan. He was immediately taken to the Kalu Khan Civil Hospital. Superintendent of police Dr Mian Muhammad Syed said that they were investigation the incident. Online adds: The house of a local candidate of ANP) was attacked in a remote area of Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan, with no casualties reported. Sources said miscreants hurled hand grenades at the residence of Munaf Afridi who is contesting elections from NA-46 of the tribal district. No loss of life, however, was reported in the incident as the candidate remained safe in the attack.
security checks every now and then in order to reach their homes. The residents of the locality have requested
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ATTOCK: Gurdwara Panja Sahib is one of the most sacred places for Sikhs and can attract thousands of tourists because of its beautiful architecture. –STAFF PHOTO
Government school ‘auctioned’ in Mirpur OUR STAFF REPORTER MIRPUR: It may seem absurd but it is reality that the building of a state-run school has been auctioned in Mirpur district. The incident occurred in Khanpur village where the Government Girls Primary School was auctioned by the officials of Education Department, school staff and the influential of the area. After the selling of the structure, the school has been shifted to the hall of a mosque. Residents of Khanpur reached the office of divisional director (schools) with an application against the extreme injustice. They demanded to get a FIR registered against those who ruined the school. According to details, Government Girls Primary School Khanpur was to be affected by the Mangla Dam Raising Project. If the water level reaches 1,240 feet, the school will also get drowned along with residential and commercial buildings. The school staffers with the help of some locals have shifted the school to a mosque after selling the remaining structure. Social and political workers of Khanpur Chaudhry Muhammad Meharban, Haji
Muhammad Rasheed, Mushtaq Ahmed and Abdul Khaliq have demanded the DEO (Female), divisional director (schools) and AJK Minister for Education Mian Abdul Waheed to take strict action against culprits. People told that they were not taken into confidence about shifting the school shifting and the auction process. They said the administration must take action immediately; otherwise, they would not restrict themselves to protest. They said that the building was constructed by the funds collected from the people of the area and another school could be built nearby instead of selling the remains of the building. When contacted, DEO Nargis Sultana said that they would investigate why the school staff kept quiet against the persons who committed the act and no relaxation would be given to those who sold the school building. She further said that a person named Rasib, who showed himself to be the member of education committee, was not in the official record. The DEO said that they were contacting the department’s law consultant for the legal action and informing the administration and police as well.
BA JAUR: COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Bajaur and Swat on Friday in connection with inauguration of projects completed under UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UPAP). Kayani inaugurated a technical college at Khar, the agency headquarters of Bajaur. The college will provide diploma-level technical education for up to 450 students in various disciplines of Engineering including electrical, mechanical, civil and mining. Pakistan Army Engineers have completed the project at the cost of Rs 266.2 million in less than two years. Later, the COAS went to Shamozai, Swat, for the inauguration of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Bridge at the site of the old Shamozai Bridge. Almost two million people of Swat will be facilitated by the construction of this bridge. This project was completed by Frontier Works Organization at the cost of Rs 897.4 Million in one and a half year. Talking on the occasion, COAS appreciated the quality of the work done and expressed thanks - on behalf of the Government of Pakistan to the Government and people of UAE for their support in carrying out critically needed development work in the terrorism affected areas of FATA and Swat. He expressed hope that such projects will alleviate the hardships faced by people of the area and help root out terrorism by providing education and economic opportunities to the youth. Earlier, on arrival, COAS was received by Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani, the commander of Peshawar Corps. Ambassador of UAE to Pakistan His Excellency Essa Abdulla Albasha AlNoaimi and UPAP Director Mr Abdullah Al Ghefeli were also present at the occasion.
Challan filed against seven suspects Officials and an account-holder involved in illegal transactions OUR STAFF REPOTER
MIRPUR (A JK): Local police have moved the challan against seven accused including six officials and an account holder of Mirpur’s main branch of the Askari Bank Ltd in the AJK Banking Court in Muzaffarabad on the charges of conducting parallel banking through illegal transaction of local and foreign currencies, misuse of powers and embezzlement of about Rs 71.1 million. When contacted, the investigation officer – Additional Superintendent of Police Mirpur Raja Irfan Salim - told The Spokesman on Friday that after the police completed investigations in to the scam, the challan of the sacked officials of the Askari Bank Mirpur branch Mudassir Hayat and his real brother Imran Hayat (an account holder of the same bank), Muhammad Imtiaz, Qaiser Mehmood, Ahsan Mehmood, Imran Ali and Nadim Ahmed in the banking court in Muzaffarabad for onward prosecution. Cases against the accused under section 419, 420, 471, 467, 468, 471 and 406 of AKPC have already been registered with the City Police Station. “Two of the accused bank officials including Mudassir Hayat and Muhammad Imtiaz have been sent to the jail, whereas rest of the four officials are on bail. The accused account holder Imran Hayat is still at large and has been declared absconder,” Irfan, the head of three-member investigation team, said. The police are after the absconder accused Imran Hayat. On a complaint by the head office of the Askari Bank Ltd in January last year, the City Police Mirpur had registered a case under section 419, 420, 471, 467, 468, 471 and 406 AKPC against the aforesaid officials and an account holder of the bank’s Mirpur main branch.
A three-member investigation team - headed by Additional SP Raja Irfan Salim with Inspector Chaudhry Anser Mehmood and Sub Inspector Zafar Haider Shah – is conducted probe into the case. The investigators have quizzed at least 19 bank officials of different cadres, while six of them were found guilty for their alleged direct or indirect involvement in to the scam. The police team completed the probe in to the scam and succeeded in moving the challan in to the banking court within six months period of investigation. At least 19 officials of the bank’s main branch including six of the aforesaid accused, including the area manager, have so far been dismissed from service. To a question, the additional SP said that the accused were not only found involved in conducting the parallel banking through unlawful transaction of the local and foreign currency mostly British Pounds and US dollars, but also embezzled the amount of Rs. 71.1 million of the bank and the account holders. He said that Rs 6 million had so far been recovered from the accused. The investigation officer said the absconder, Imran Hayat, fled with the embezzled money (Rs 37 million) and the police were hunting him. Meanwhile, some of the sacked officials of the bank - including Area Manager Inamullah Khan Niazi and Muhammad Farooq, Attique-ur-Rehman Mughal, Atif, Baber Raheem and Amaad - have challenged their dismissal from service in various courts of law. When contacted, the former area manager of AJK-based branches of Askari Bank, Inamullah Khan Niazi, claimed to be innocent, asserting that since the branch did not directly come fell in the area manager’s domain and control, the branch manager holds the entire responsibility of all deeds of the branch concerned.
Inferno victims in Gilgit await govt attention SABIR AHMAD GILGIT: Sitting next to the debris of his shop, Raees Ahmed waits anxiously for some help from the authorities. He was one of those 13 unfortunate shopkeepers whose shops gutted last week due to a short circuit. But as time passes by, he is losing hopes as no one from the government has turned to them, let alone assuring them of compensating their loses. The poor Ahmed owned a tea stall, made up of wood, in a market near Jutial Bus terminal. But on the night of April 8, a blaze caused by a short circuit engulfed the small market, burning down everything inside the shops. The incident means the poor have lost their source of income and have turned jobless. According to witnesses, the locals volunteered themselves to extinguish the fire and were later joined by the authorities including Rescue 1122 and fire brigade. However by the time the efforts succeeded, the shops had gutted already. The shops destroyed by fire included three tandoors, one CD
shop and a hotel. “I have lost everything and now I stand penniless,” said Ahmed, appealing government to assist him rebuilt his shop. Hailing from Gilgit–Baltistan’s Diamer district, Raees Ahmed is the sole bread earner of his family. He set up the shop hoping to save some money from the income for his family.
“I had a reasonably good business here as the bus terminal is usually full of passengers most of the time,” Ahmed told The Spokesman. “But now I don’t know what to do. Nobody from government and the media has come to us to highlight the plight we are in,” he complained. “We are poor people and so don’t have
approach to the power corridors.” Another shopkeeper, whose shop also gutted, regretted the government’s attitude for ignoring them. “It’s really sad the government the government has kept a silence on our issue,” he said. Back in government, the authorities haven’t yet made their minds to assist
those affected by the fire. “Since I was away from the office, therefore I am not sure if the government has done anything or not,” said Haji Gulbar Khan, the regional minister for health and population. “But let me check with the chief minister about it. Certainly the government will assist them if they deserve,” he said.
(L) Raees Ahmed in the middle whose tea stall was reduced to ashes in the fire caused by short circuit. (R) The remains of the burnt shops. –STAFF PHOTO
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498 www.thespokesman.pk firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendship with Russia Eight rounds of bilateral consultations between Pakistan and Russia will be held in Islamabad on 25 April with the main focus on strategic issues including disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and strategic stability in South Asia. ‘We attach great importance to our relations with Russia’, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in his weekly press briefing in Islamabad the other day. Given the changing contours of Pakistan’s foreign policy, the bilateral consultations have assumed even more importance. For some time now, Pakistan is distancing itself from the US and its ambiguous agenda in the region. This has opened up the possibilities of closer ties with other countries independent of the over-riding American influence. Russia is Pakistan’s neighbor and it is in Pakistan’s interest to build a strong relationship with the country which is not only an established power but also an important leader of emerging blocs like BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). During the Cold War era when the world stood divided between the socialist East and the capitalist West, Pakistan decided to join the latter. In 1949, former Soviet Prime Minister Joseph Stalin had extended an invitation to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan to visit Moscow through Pakistan’s ambassador in Iran because Pakistan had not established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union till then. But, rather than following up on the Soviet invitation, Pakistan’s Britishtrained bureaucracy maneuvered to get an invitation from US President Harry S. Truman for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan who paid an official visit to the US in May 1950. With the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet policy regarding Kashmir was changed. During 1954, Nehru exploited Pakistan’s joining of SEATO & CENTO Western alliances, and the former Soviet Union used its first veto on Kashmir in 1957 favouring India. After the U-2 incident in 1960, when an American plane took off from Pakistan and violated the Soviet airspace, the Soviet Union threatened Pakistan with dire consequences. The two countries have remained estranged until recently. Pakistan’s bid to have its status as observer changed to a full member of the SCO represents its desire for peace, security and progress through regional cooperation. Initially, Russia was averse to the idea of giving Pakistan even an observer status in SCO on the grounds that Pakistan was aiding and abetting terrorists. During the Taliban era, China and Iran were also concerned that the Taliban were trying to export their “revolution” to their territories. By successfully fighting terrorism and militants in recent years, Pakistan has improved its image on that count and has excellent relations with a majority of SCO countries, especially China and its Central Asian members with whom Pakistan has religious, historical and cultural ties. Given the paradigm shift in Pakistan’s policy, it is expected that Russia will now support Pakistan’s request for full membership of the SCO. It will not only benefit Pakistan but also strengthen the strategic and economic bloc essential for restraining unhindered American hegemony and balancing the world order. It is important for Pakistan to do its homework to make the most out of the upcoming bilateral consultations and put improvement in Pak-Russia relations on a fast track.
Ten questions to the Left For all its good intentions, the Left in Pakistan had a number of blindspots. Steeped in secular modernity, the Left discourse ignored the emancipatory religious impulse promoted by popular mystical poets and philosophers of the region IMDAD HUSSAIN I appreciate that Ashfaq Salim Mirza openly acknowledges his book Falsafai-Tarikh, Nau Abadiyat aur Jamhooriyat: Chand Na Mukammal Mubahis (Philosophy of History, Neocolonialism and Democracy: Preliminary Discourses) is not the final word on the subject. He invites others to contribute to this discourse. I think two of his arguments are strong and empirically grounded: first, his argument about leftist politics in Pakistan. He claims that leftist intellectuals’ did not analyse Pakistani society objectively; that the Marxian literature produced here did not reference Pakistan; and sometimes communist organisations were turned into personal fiefdoms by their leaders. He laments the increasing unity between religious parties and leftists, and invites us to rethink whether the left-Islamic partnership holds any possibilities for the country. Mirza’s critique of some features of ethnic, regional, and linguistic nationalisms is a courageous thing to do. Most secular and liberal intellectuals celebrate these nationalisms in an unproblematic fashion. Strangely, the celebrators of these nationalisms are arch enemies of the Pakistani nationalism of the central state. How is it possible that one kind of nationalism oppresses while the other emancipates? Most of our writers on nationalism would never admit that most nationalisms end up oppressing their nations. It is hard to find a single, benign nationalism in the world. Mirza’s critique on the ethnic, regional and linguistic nationalisms should be developed by other scholars. This said, I have a number of questions with other constructions and formulations of Mirza’s book. First, is it correct to consider religion a nonprogressive force? This bias against religion is the product of Enlightenment thought. Max Weber, in his classic work of 1905, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, has dispelled this by tracing the origins of secularism in Calvinist-Protestant reforms. In Pakistan, leftists and secularists and, to some extent, liberal analyses consider religion as an anti-progress force. That is strange since a number of religious people in Pakistan have been progressive. We can still find many of them around. During the Enlightenment, Catholicism was
stigmatised and Max Weber is sometimes accused of being a contributor to this bias. But even if the accusation is true, Weber’s book remains highly useful due to which it is a must read in all sociology courses in the world. The British in India also portrayed Catholicism as an anti-progress sect. This antiCatholicism continued unabated in America until recently. Interestingly, Islam has been constructed as an anti-progress force on the lines of anti-Catholicism. Just like the anti-Catholicism benefitted western elites, anti-Islamism is also benefitting international politics. To expose this politics, should not we highlight the religious progressives in the country? I think, we need to highlight illustrious people like Gorakh Nath (11 to 12 century), Bhagat Kabir (b. 1398), and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai
scientific work done in our region. Only a friendly and equal engagement between western and sub-continental epistemologies can help us make our analyses better. But we need to stop taking Europe as a role model for us. Third, are not the mystic forms of resistance progressive? Subcontinental mysticism, in most of its expressions, is non-material and is different from the material view of the world developed by Enlightenment. Indian mystics have been resisting oppression of all kinds - material, cognitive, moral, emotional, and ontological - in their lives. Punjabi cosmopolitanism expressed by Baba Farid (1173-1266) and Baba Nanak (1469-1539) refuted all identities to establish equality among all beings and among all faiths. They resisted the established forms of domination by refusing to take any religious identity.
If Islam is being used as an Instrument in the country, the intellectuals should expose this instrumentalisation rather than constructing religious politics and religiosity as the sources of all our problems (1689-1752) who have played an important role in the emancipation of people. In other regions, such as Latin America, liberation theology has played an important role in democratisation. Second, are the Enlightenment categories suitable to understand and analyse Pakistani society? In my view, categories such as rationalism, secularism, Marxism, urbanisation, science, and individual atomism may not be completely suitable to study Pakistan. Among them, secularism predicted the disappearance of religion as rationality, science and urbanisation took over the world. In my view, it was not a prediction but the desire of the secularism, stemmed out of its bias against Catholicism. Since religion has not waned, it suggests that we look deeper to understand Pakistan by different categories derived from the experience of the people of this place. Mystic thought across the regions in Pakistan provides these categories. We should use its epistemology to correct our understanding of Pakistani society and not treat Enlightenment epistemology as superior to the philosophical and
Mysticism is not about the after-world as many leftists used to think but the metaphor of the other world contributes towards making this world a better place. That radical spirit of mysticism has been taken over by the greedy and power hungry people (mostly gaddi nasheens). Should not we expose them and reclaim mysticism’s radical message? Four, are we really backward people? Are we really enemies of reason? Is there only one possible form of reason? We forget that India was developing its own modernity when colonisers came and erased it. Mian Muhammad Bakhsh’s (1830-1907) invitation, La Hunera Juhal Burrey Da, Channan La Aqal Da (defeat the darkness of mischievous unreason by embracing the light of reason) was a strong appeal to reason. Five, has Pakistan really been Islamised? Did Zia ul Haq want to Islamise Pakistan? Is Pakistan really an Islamic country? Why do we not admit that Zia ul Haq used Islam as an instrument of power? If Islam is being used as an Instrument in the country, the intellectuals should expose this instrumentalisation rather than
constructing religious politics and religiosity as the sources of all of our problems. In fact, Islam is the chief victim of Islamisation. Six, does the Objectives Resolution provide a chance for theocracy? Objectives Resolution is an ambiguous document and it can be used by seculars, liberals, moderate Islamists and religious parties alike. Seven, are secularism and Marxism non-violent ideologies? Secularism, in particular, is being offered as a solution to the problems of Pakistan. I wonder if secularism has been implemented elsewhere without violence. Take the examples of Turkey and India. A book The Myth of Religious Violence exposes the goodness of the secularism as an ideology. It should be read by many of our secularists. Eight, is Zia ul Haq responsible for all of our troubles? In Pakistan, criticising Zia means progressivism. Thanks to these works, Zia has been turned into a dustbin where our secularists and liberals and leftists dump their anger and frustrations. Nine, is the Religion-Secularism debate relevant to Pakistan at all? I think, not. What Mian Muhammad Iftikharududin said on the occasion of debate on Objectives Resolution on 8 March 1949 is relevant today. He said, ’What I am trying to stress is that the words used in this Resolution do not mean anything… [because it did not reflect the wishes of] seventy million people of our country’. He urged the Constituent Assembly to think of ways to expand democracy in Pakistan because Islam was not the problem. Neither was it the problem in Pakistan. Neither Islamism nor secularism is the solution to the problems of the country. Ten, most of the causes framed as “anti-this” or “anti-that” need to be suspected as they distract from the actual problems of the people. It could be a harsh example, but the “antiterrorism” cause illustrates my point. We should know by now that “War on Terror” is anything but a war on terror and the terrorists are only anti-West. Both are helping each other deliberately or otherwise to keep this world in dismay. The talk was delivered to the launching ceremony of Ashfaq Salim Mirza’s Falsafa-iTarikh, Nau Abadiyat aur Jamhooriyat: Chand Na Mukammal Mubahis (Lahore: Sanjh, 2011) on 8 April 2013 at Punjab Public Library Hall, Lahore.
THE WRITER IS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT FORMAN CHRISTIAN COLLEGE, LAHORE
Post-modern designer protests and vanity arrests in DC JEFFREY ST. CLAIR The scene was striking for its dissonance. Fifty activists massed in front of the White House, some of them sitting, others tied to the iron fence, most of them smiling, all decorous looking, not a Black Blocker or Earth First!er in the view. The leaders of this micro-occupation of the sidewalk held a black banner featuring Obama’s campaign logo, the one with the blue “O” and the curving red stripes that looks like a pipeline snaking across Kansas. The message read, prosaically: “Lead on Climate: Reject the KXL Pipeline”. Cameras whirred franticly, most aimed at the radiant face of Daryl Hannah, as DC police moved in to politely ask the crowd to disperse. The crowd politely declined. The Rubicon had been crossed. For the first time in 120 years, a Sierra Club official, executive director Mike Brune, was going to get arrested for an act of civil (and the emphasis here is decisively on civil) disobedience. Brune had sought special dispensation for the arrest from the Sierra Club board, a one-day exemption to the Club’s firm policy against nonviolent civil disobedience, The Board assented. One might ask, what took them so long? One might also ask, why now? Is the Keystone Pipeline a more horrific ecological crime than
Mumtaz Bhutto and scrutiny In a press release Mr. Mumtaz Bhutto has said 80% corrupt persons have passed the test of the Articles 62 and 63 and the scrutiny. He said that Zardari was ruling the country for the last five years, despite the fact that 10 or more
So Obama is set to screw Gang Green on the Keystone XL Pipeline. But, like Pavlovian Lapdogs, the Enviro Pros will lick their wounds, cash a few checks and within two weeks be back to issuing press releases touting him as the Greenest President of All Time oil drilling in grizzly habitat on the border of Glacier National Park or the gunning down of 350 wolves a year in the outback of Idaho? Hardly; the Keystone Pipeline is one of many noxious conduits of tar sand oil from Canada, vile, certainly, but standard practice for Big Oil. The Sierra Club has an image problem. Brune’s designer arrest can be partially interpreted as a craven attempt to efface the stain of the Club’s recent dalliance with Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas companies on the continent and a pioneer in the environmentally malign enterprise of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”. Between 2007 and 2010, Chesapeake Energy secretly funneled nearly $30 million to the Sierra Club to advocate the virtues of natural gas as a socalled “bridge” fuel. Bridge to where is yet to be determined. By the time this subornment was disclosed, the funders of the environmental movement had turned decisively against fracking for gas and the even more malicious methods used to extract shale oil. The Sierra Club had to rehabilitate itself to stay in the good
murder cases have been pending against him. This Sardar of Bhutto clan has animosity against President Zardari and leaves no opportunity to criticise him and drag him down. He has no shame. He was one of those politicians who got benefits from Z.A.Bhutto, and betrayed him, to save their own lives. He became governor and later chief minister of Sindh He is the same talented cousin of Z.A Bhutto, Who used to appear drunk in the public, and was seen getting carried away at clubs and parties. His political career never took off, due to his drinking problem. He left Peoples Party and formed Sindh Nationalist Front that brought no rights for the working class. He has not been able to bring any improvement or change in their situation. Recently he merged the Sindh Nationalist Front with PML (N), and strengthened the hands of
graces of the Pew Charitable Trusts and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had lavished $50 million on the Club’s sputtering Beyond Coal Campaign. As the cops strolled in to begin their vanity arrests, they soon confronted the inscrutable commander of these delicately chained bodies, Bill McKibben, leader of the massively funded 350.Org. McKibben had repeatedly referred to this as the environmental movement’s “lunch counter moment”, making an odious comparison to the Civil Right’s movement’s courageous occupation of the “whites only” spaces across the landscape of the Jim Crow era, acts of genuine defiance that were often viciously suppressed by truncheons, fists and snarling dogs. But McKibben made no attempt to stand his ground. He allowed the PlastiCuffs that tied his thin writs to the fence to be decorously snipped. He didn’t resist arrest; instead he craved it. This was a well-orchestrated photo-op moment. He was escorted to the police van, driven to the precinct station, booked, handed a $100 fine
Nawaz Sharif. His new leader has been trying to open up Sindh gates for PML (N). He could not find a better ally than him. His tryst with Mian brothers has proved futile and he has not gained any popularity with this move. He seems to be despondent over the situation and is taking out his anger on Zardari who would not go away. JAVAID BASHIR LAHORE
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PML-N and PTI set to lock horns in Battle of Attock I think PTI has better chances to win from NA-58 this time, NA-59 is a still bit dodgy. WAQAS
and released. An hour later, McKibben was Tweeting about how cool it was to be arrested with civil rights legend Julian Bond. But are you really engaged in civil disobedience if you can Tweet your own arrest? Beyond the fabric of self-congratulation, what’s really going on here? The mandarins of Big Green blocked nothing, not even entry to the White House grounds. It was a purely symbolic protest, but signifying what? Directed at whom? Even Derrida would have a hard time decoding the meaning of a demonstration that so effusively supported the person it supposedly targeted. Of course, Obama, who was in North Carolina during the designer arrests, had no such problem. He correctly divined the impotence on display. In a matter of weeks, he delivered a State of the Union Address pledging to expedite oil and gas drilling on public lands and off-shore sites, nominated pro-nuke and pro-fracking zealots to head the EPA and Department of Energy. Predictably, the Sierra Club, which now
Very well written and analysed. I am seriously thinking of "The Daily Mansoor" after looking at it.
short and Imran Khan has to take tough decisions. I trust him and will still prefer to vote for him.
circus and have his own show onwith a grizzly bear. He still could live on the at money earned by the bear.
YASSER ALI KHAN Agreed. There are issues which need to be resolved quickly. Hopefully, by the end of this week, everything will be sorted out. Imran should not allow anybody to blackmail him. Inamullah is not going to contest against Imran Khan as he is likely to withdraw his papers from NA-71. If he decides to contest independently from NA-72, it still does not matter as PTI will sweep Mianwali in any case. Azam Swati wants his relative to contest from Swat, which is not acceptable to the workers. Javed Hashmi only wanted to contest from NA-149 due to his poor health. As for Imran, I personally don't doubt his leadership skill at all, although I feel he gave a lot of leverage to some people which he should not have. Time is less
functions as little more than an applause machine for the administration, praised both the State of the Union address and the dubious appointments to EPA and Energy. Here we have what Jean-Paul Sartre called “the mirage of an opposition”. Then the coup de grâce: the State Department issued its final report endorsing the pipeline an ecologically-benign sluice toward economic prosperity. This was swiftly followed by an order from the White House to the EPA demanding that the agency withdraw the stern new standards on greenhouse gas emissions from power-plants. So Obama is set to screw Gang Green on the Keystone XL Pipeline. But, like Pavlovian Lapdogs, the Enviro Pros will lick their wounds, cash a few checks and within two weeks be back to issuing press releases touting him as the Greenest President of All Time. Rest assured, Obama feels terrible about these setbacks and will move decisively to fix them in his third term.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi—duped I have enjoyed this piece on Shah Mahmood Quershi. The venom is filled to the brims and over flowing, inundating everything in the way. The grizzly bear and pop-eyed buffoon loved to tango with Hillary, who ditched him. She used his idiotic buffoon-styled and overly expressed wordy dialogues. She was not impressed by him but he thought so. This poor man from Multan has lived a life of luxury on the alms of the charitable endowments. He looks like a goof and acts like a goof. How can someone can want to have him as a friend is beyond belief. He can open a
Treason nightmares disturb Mush family Musharraf has done more for Pakistan than any of the elected politicians. His term in office was a period of economic growth offor Pakistan. My sympathies and best wishes are with him. I understand that he has to face a pack of a carnivorous scavenging animal resembling Hyenas. He is not likely to get justice as the "Naraz Collaborators " would like to give him a finishing blow before December 2013. A J KHAN Please email your letters to email@example.com or post them to our address in Islamabad.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
O Captain! My Captain! Every time a prominent PTI leader entered the hall, the crowd got on their seats hoping to see their Captain. And then, finally, he arrived and the gathering went gaga over him. The zealous chants of 'Kon bachaye ga Pakistan?' were answered by loud cries: 'Imran Khan! Imran Khan!' A new life spiked the show and the partying seemed to begin to a huge hall decorated in green, red and white to accentuate the event humming to patriotic tunes. Soon it would be full to the brim so we walked towards a much smaller stage than usual set at the HAFSA SIDDIQUE far end. Usually you will find popular politicians hiding behind a bullet-proof rostrum set high I rushed to get the details online above the crowd on a sky-high as soon as I got to know that my stage. But we know Imran Khan is hero was coming to our town, different. He would not mind Karachi. Well, not quite exactly a walking out in the midst of his town, but what a city Karachi is. people. Times of peace between bouts of Soon, it got quite crowded and violence are scenic. Busy roads, hustle and bustle in every market, then came a time when we felt the place should have been bigger. overloaded busses, morning The programme began with breeze, hot desert days and Quranic recitation, followed by coastal evening winds sweep the city. You can never break the spell speeches of local leaders with of its romance once you have lived national and party songs playing during the intervals. Every time a here, even with city conditions as prominent PTI leader entered the bad as they are today. hall, the crowd got on their seats I couldn't be happier when I hoping to see their Captain. And discovered that Khan would be then, finally, he arrived and the visiting Karachi to attend Insaaf gathering went gaga over him. Students Federation's Tabdeeli The zealous chants of 'Kon Razakaar Convention in my own neighbourhood. What an icing on bachaye ga Pakistan?' were answered by loud cries: 'Imran the cake! A two-minute drive to Khan! Imran Khan!' A new life where I would pay my whole month's salary to be. It is not like spiked the show and the partying a duty to attend a PTI jalsa, rather seemed to begin. Years ago, I sat among my it is always a joyful, energising classmates, explaining my reasons and motivational. You would to my Econimics teacher for know what I mean if you have supporting Imran Khan in the been to PTI's tsunamis. 2002 general elections. Sitting I was in a group of five people. My brother and his friend who are here was living a wish I made studying photography had plans to more than a decade ago. An cover the event through their lens. answer to the silent mocking of all those who could not see the idea My sister was working as an ISF Imran Khan had just introduced media volunteer. I was hoping to back then. Today, it is only a few write a piece on it myself. However, it seemed my time there days away from its completion. The purpose of the programme would pass listening to the fifth was achieved when Imran Khan member of our group who was gave the call to the youth to take up quite vocal. She spoke as if she the challenge and to bring about wanted to share her true feelings change. The response was and thoughts regarding politics overwhelming as we were informed and how she feels that change is that our system was overloaded with the need of the day despite her text messages by new volunteers for family totally rejecting her views. door-to-door campaigning on PTI's It was very impressive to see a young woman of Karachi make her menifesto. My guest was also among the new volunteers. Apart choice against traditional politics. from that, Khan also availed the We reached the venue at 3:00 opportunity to announce his plans p.m. sharp. It was pleasing to see things working in a well organised of another tsunami, this time in Karachi on 21 April. manner. Although there was a We have almost a month to go to huge crowd as you would expect at any popular political gathering, the elections and the path is only going to get tougher. The darker yet things ran smoothly. The atmosphere outside Pearl Banquet side of Karachi is that it is the most violent city of Pakistan. But if on Rashid Minhas road was festive. PTI enthusiasts were busy you were at ISF's TRP Convention, the commitment and resolve the buying PTI stickers, bats, shirts, youth has promised is a sign of badges and other accessories. A change, provided young Karachites welcoming staff of young go into the battle prepared and Insafians ensured the flow of guests; making it comfortable for take the bull by the horns. the women who could take a THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER separate route. Our path opened
Rich man’s election, poor man’s farce SAEED MINHAS
We have heard many claims of “Pakistan First” or “Naya Pakistan”, “Roti, Kapra aur Makan” or “Khadam-e-Aala” and what not. But is anyone listening to the voice of the people? And then is this voice being represented in their manifestos?
Scores of conspiracy theories are currently making the rounds prior to the elections because, historically, politics has remained a hallmark of the oligarchy and slogans of change are generally raised by the same people to ensure that a system convenient to them remains intact. That is what a hari sitting in the Katcha area of Sindh is thinking and that is what a majority of peasants, labourers, villagers, young people and even housewives told me when I was transiting through cities, towns, and villages from Khyber to Gawadar in recent weeks. Elections are in the air but only in urban or, at the most, in semi urban areas. Despite all my efforts, I could not get the feel of it in most parts of Sindh, southern Punjab, Balochistan and even in certain parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and FATA where gloom persists among large swathes of people who don’t see these elections as any different from previous ones. ‘It’s just another effort at changing the faces but not the system,’ was a voice that resonated across Pakistan. If imams have transferred the political baton to their next generation in Southern Punjab, it is the same with the Mehar or Sherazi or even with the Bhutto in Sindh. Orakzai or Afridi continue to swell in KP and FATA, and in Balochistan the nawabs and sardars are holding on to their respective fortresses. ‘The objective remains the same for all of them’, commented one young Baloch in Khuzdar, ‘to muzzle the real voices and guzzle the state’. This young man was seriously contemplating joining an armed group because that is the only way he believes is left for him to earn a living for his family of ten people. The return of the old guard, the
announcement of manifestos, alliances or court marriages of convenience amongst various political groups, and even the “big bangs” of our judiciary and the caretaker governments barely matter to this young man or to anyone in a these parts. Yet they agree that they are the ones who have to sit in political gatherings of the wadera, the sardar, the malik, the nawab and so on. ‘This is just an opportunity for us to earn some money since they pay us to be there, either in cash or in kind. They protect us from local police or their own militias throughout the year,’ said one man, explaining the logic of these forgotten masses who are only called upon like numbers at the time of elections. But does that mean that they are the disenfranchised part of our population? Quite the contrary. Their votes are not cast on information, ideology or manifestos but for their survival. A majority of people - men and women don’t even know how to cast their vote because all they know is that they get a black mark on the thumb and receive a paper from the polling staff. They never stamp it; never know what is written on it, what various pictures on the ballot papers represent. ‘I have cast my vote in every single election since the 1970s, but not once did I know who I am voting for because either the wadera or his gunman accompanied me and he took over my role,’ remarked an aged hari in Sukkur. ‘All I cared for was the 50 Rupees I got for it in the last elections. It used to be 5 Rupees back in the 1970s,’ he added. Does this mean that people vote irresponsibly? I don’t think so. When a state fails to act independently and responsibly and it seems quite clear that there are other actors and factors running the affairs of state, especially the armed institutions, people tend to become skeptical of elections. And no
one is fooled by the media that supports different power lobbies and helps maintain the status quo. In contrast, one can feel the change in attitudes, approaches and even voices when we approach urban and semi urban areas across the country. The reason is not only the active media but also levels of literacy where urbanites can differentiate between the opinion and agenda setting of the media. They can see how transparent is the transfer of power at the federal and provincial levels and how open-ended the Election Commission of Pakistan has remained throughout this process. The difference education makes in creating a responsible citizen and even a knowledgeable voter is quite visible in these areas. I heard angry remarks against Returning Officers who put obnoxious questions to the contesting candidates. ‘These Returning Officers have started behaving like they were the Chief Justice of Pakistan instead of carrying out their obligation of scrutinising data presented by contesting candidates,’ said a man in a group I met at a local dhaba or tea stall in one city. But then it makes one wonder: is democracy really meant for us? We have seen nothing but monarchies, autocracies and even delusional leadership. We have seen a majority of alternatives crumbling and shaking just because they were not inclusive, responsive or accountable to the people. So should we continue to bear these oligarchs and seek solace in pointing fingers at imperialist powers that chose our rulers for us? To my mind, this way of thinking is an escape from reality and responsibility. While sitting in Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi it is very easy to devise a theory or even dozens of them, by talking to the same opinion leaders, agenda setters, spin doctors and what not. But by sitting on a dirt road under a village
tree and assessing the role of the state with people of the area, one can understand things far more clearly and also see some clear solutions. It is not that our bureaucrats, judges and politicians don’t belong to this part of the country. Many of them have risen to prominence from the same dirt roads but, instead of feeling for the vulnerable people they once belonged to, they chose to forget them and focus instead on amassing fortunes that would distance them from the poor. One thing which amazes me when I meet people from remote, rural areas is that wisdom has nothing to do with education. I have met people in isolated desert villages where even the poorest of the poor possess wisdom which can outclass our know-all anchors, foreign educated analysts, retired bureaucrats or even retired generals and judges. It is not that the people of this country don’t know what is best for them and what they need, but the rulers and aspiring rulers who do not have the democratic spirit in them to accept this. We have often heard talk about democracy being a system of the people, by the people and for the people, but have we ever seen it in practice here? Is there any respect for the people politicians claim to represent? We have heard many claims of “Pakistan First” or “Naya Pakistan”, “Roti, Kapra aur Makan” or “Khadame-Aala” and what not. But is anyone listening to the voice of the people? And then is this voice being represented in their manifestos? It is not the majority of the people of Pakistan who behave irresponsibly or undemocratically but the few who monopolise the power to represent them. It is time those contending to rule the country became more responsible and respectful of the people who bring them to power. THE WRITER IS RESIDENT EDITOR AT THE SPOKESMAN
US media: keeping the government's ugly secrets STEVE RENDALL Journalism is supposed to hold power to account. That’s the principle implicit in the US Constitution’s singling out a free press for protection. If that principle were respected, the Washington Post’s admission that it and ‘several news organisations’ made a deal with the White House to withhold the news that the US has a drone base in Saudi Arabia would have been a red flag, triggering widespread discussion of media ethics. But these deals have become so commonplace that the story generated less concern among journalists than did the denial of press access to a recent presidential golf outing. The latter outrage resulted in a sternly worded letter of protest from the White House press corps (Huffington Post). As the Washington Post explained, it was convinced to sit on the drone base story by administration concerns that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an Al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counter-terrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda’s leadership has historically had close ties to the Saudi elite (Wall Street Journal) - so the existence of the drone base was likely no secret to them. As for the Saudis, they might well be less willing to collaborate with the US if their collaboration became public knowledge. But is protecting governments from the impact of public opinion really the job of journalism? Withholding important news over supposed national security concerns is nothing new. And in many cases, no official request is even needed
The collusion between the media and government to keep news from the public is defended in virtually every case as a matter of national security - the decision-makers seem to have internalised the notion that keeping the government’s secrets is part of their job. New York Times reporter William Laurence, who covered the nuclear attacks on Japanese civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, was a shameless cheerleader for the Bomb. According to journalist Greg Mitchell’s book Atomic Cover Up, Laurence worked eagerly to suppress news of the lingering radiation effects of the attacks. Mitchell quoted Laurence’s frank account of a propaganda junket in which the Times reporter and 30 other journalists were given a military briefing in order that they could, in Laurence’s words, ‘give lie to’ Japanese propaganda ‘that radiations were responsible for deaths even after’ the nuclear attacks. During the US senatorial Church hearings in 1975-76, the CIA admitted having 400 journalists on its payroll and regularly planting columns and news stories in some of the nation’s most prestigious news outlets - as detailed in Carl Bernstein’s landmark piece “The CIA and the Media” (Rolling Stone). Reporting on the 1953 CIA coup that ousted Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in favor of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, U.S. journalists - not all of them on the Agency’s payroll - concealed the CIA role in the coup. As New York Times reporter James Risen wrote almost 50 years after it might have made a difference: ‘Western correspondents in Iran and Washington never reported that some of the unrest had been
stage-managed by CIA agents posing as Communists. And they gave little emphasis to accurate contemporaneous reports in Iranian newspapers and on the Moscow radio asserting that Western powers were secretly arranging the Shah’s return to power’. In 1954, the following year, there was a conspiracy of media silence over the CIA’s role in a coup that removed Guatemala’s popularly elected President Jacobo Arbenz. In a mea culpa more than 40 years later, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger admitted complying with a request by CIA director John Foster Dulles to cover up the Agency’s role. Sulzberger kept Times Latin American correspondent Sydney Gruson out of Guatemala to ensure the blackout. From the beginning of the Cold War, media officials like Washington Post publisher Phil Graham worked closely with the CIA in a spirit expressed succinctly by Graham’s successor, his wife Katharine Graham, who told an audience of top CIA officials in a November 16, 1988, speech (Extra!): ‘We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows’. It’s hard to know how often journalists sit on stories for reasons of state, or how many official requests are made. Since the arrangements are meant to be kept secret, we can safely assume they are more common than we know. But in
the past decade, evidence of them seems to have emerged at an accelerated rate. CBS’s 60 Minutes sat on a story exposing the Bush administration’s use of false documents to charge Iraq with trying to obtain uranium from Niger - holding the news until after the 2004 election (FAIR Action Alert). CBS News officials (New York Times) suggested they’d withheld the story for fear it could affect voters’ choices: ‘We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election’. The notion that journalism is supposed to inform the public in ways that may very well make a difference, particularly in the political realm, seemed lost on CBS officials. In 2005, the Washington Post sort of defied the government by publishing a story about the CIA holding secret prisoners at “black sites” in Eastern Europe (Extra!). But the paper undercut reporter Dana Priest’s big scoop by withholding the names of the countries involved, as it explained, ‘at the request of senior US officials’, who said that the ‘disclosure might disrupt counterterrorism efforts in those countries and elsewhere and could make them targets of possible terrorist retaliation’. The Post also postponed a 2009 Bob Woodward story about a gloomy military report on the situation in Afghanistan. At the behest of the military, Woodward’s editors put off publication of the story for 24 hours, citing national security issues. But more importantly, before posting a copy of the report it had obtained online, the Post allowed the Army to intrude into its editing process by redacting the
report’s text to its liking. The collusion between the media and government to keep news from the public is defended in virtually every case as a matter of “national security”. Putting aside for the moment that the public interest should be the overriding principle for journalists, it’s fair to ask if the defenders are even right on their narrower point. Has national security, not to mention peace and stability, been enhanced by the US media covering up, say, the U.S. role in overthrowing democracies, or the dissembling of presidents, or dismissing the effects of radiation? The short answer, according to the few forceful media critics who have weighed in, is no. In a strong column, New York Times ombud Margaret Sullivan condemned the practice: ‘The real threat to national security is a government operating in secret and accountable to no one, with watchdogs that are too willing to muzzle themselves’. Sullivan was no less critical in specifically addressing the drone base story withheld by her employer. In his column about the drone base story, Glenn Greenwald (Guardian) looked back over the last decade of blacked out stories, observing: ‘In each instance, what this media concealment actually accomplishes is enabling the dissemination of significant government falsehoods without challenge, and permitting the continuation of government deceit and even illegality.’ (EXTRA!).
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
The complete text of interview with ANP President Asfandyar Wali Anchorperson-Aamir: We have Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali with us today. Wali‚ your family is in politics for the last three generations‚ but what was your experience as your party was part of ruling coalition during past five years. Asfandyar Wali: It was a wonderful experience‚ as students of politics know that ANP remained in opposition for most of the time. So‚ it was a wonderful experience‚ as we did‚ what we were unable to do by sitting at opposition benches. Aamir: For example‚ what were the achievements of your party? Asfandyar Wali: ANP has its thrust on 18th amendment‚ because it was an issue of provincial autonomy and it was an issue of federation of Pakistan. Pakistan is the only country of the world after approval of 18th amendment‚ which has no concurrent list. People quote India as good example of federation‚ but there is concurrent list in Indian Constitution. NFC Award‚ which has been covered by 18th amendment‚ is another achievement. Now‚ the share of province cannot be reduced; however‚ it can be increased. So‚ these two things are major achievements. Aamir: The people have complaints regarding the performance of the previous government‚ because of the issues of power load-shedding‚ shortage of gas and also because of price-hike. Are you ready to accept responsibility for these issues as well? Asfandyar Wali: The previous government was not solely responsible for the shortage of electricity and gas in the country. You will have to see as to when last power station was constructed in the country. I was in a seminar in Lahore in Staff College. I was questioned about construction of Kalabagh Dam [KBD] and it was stated that ANP leadership is responsible for opposing KBD and therefore‚ it should be tried under treason charges. I responded that the parliament‚ which emerged after elections on non-party basis‚ first of all opposed the construction of the dam. Secondly‚ why WAPDA has not worked on some other option‚ when the authority had become aware in 1986 that the project of KBD is controversial? The shortage of power is accumulative‚ because our population is growing with the passage of time and resources are not sufficient to meet the requirements. Aamir: Do you think that there would have some better level of governance‚ especially to deal with the shortage of gas‚ price-hike and the allegations of large-scale corruption? Asfandyar Wali: No government of the world can be described politically ideal. As far as corruption is concerned‚ you can easily level allegations of corruption against any person. The task of proving corruption is a difficult task. Aamir: There had been allegations of corruption from large-scale Transparency International against federal government and also against provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [KPK] but tell us if you are satisfied with your alliance with PPP. Asfandyar Wali: ANP has faced the allegations of treason in the past and its leaders were sent into prisons. ANP leadership has faced the consequences of staying in opposition in the past. I shall justify my coalition with PPP‚ as ANP has emerged as victorious‚ because it was fighting for the name of the province. Firing was opened on ANP meeting in 1948‚ killing 610 people. The struggle was only for getting identity. In the parliament‚ I had been raising voice for the identity. Now‚ we have succeeded in getting the identity. We have succeeded in getting provincial autonomy. So‚ I shall say that I am presenting my party before the public on basis of its achievements. Aamir: Has partnership with Asif Zardari helped improve your popularity in your area or it caused damage to your party? Asfandyar Wali: Every party has its own vote-bank. The change in vote-bank is rare. It is imprudent to judge popularity of a party by number of people in its public meetings. Certainly‚ there would be some people‚ who were not happy with the coalition of ANP with PPP. ANP workers have a characteristic that they do not like the slogans of other parties and they automatically come in the party‚ when they saw that a certain party is chanting slogans against ANP. ANP worker can stay away from the polling process‚ but he cannot vote in favor of any other party. Aamir: How ANP sees itself ideological party under present circumstances‚ when it was historically against the monopoly of Punjab‚ against the policies of America and the establishment? I want to ask if ANP is still following politics of ideology or if there exists politics of ideology under present circumstances‚ when ANP was doing politics of nationalism‚ secularism and democracy in the past. Asfandyar Wali: ANP had not sacrificed lives of its 880 workers if there would not have been politics of
ideology. They [Taliban] also admit that there is a difference of ideology with us. So‚ politics of ideology has not ended‚ at least in Pashtoons. Aamir: I am talking about change in ideology. Asfandyar Wali: What change? Aamir: I am talking about change in ANP ideology regarding Punjab. Asfandyar Wali: Punjab has played its role in 18th amendment and it was a unanimous role. I was not opposing Punjab as province or the people of Punjab; instead I was opposing Punjabi elite‚ because of their policies. Why should I oppose Punjab‚ when people of the province are also fighting with us for the cause of federation? Aamir: Where do you place yourself regarding establishment under present circumstances‚ when you had been in power during past five years‚ particularly in view of your past stance against establishment and the United States and also because of army operation in Swat and FATA? Asfandyar Wali: I want to make it clear that the army was called in in Swat by previous MMA government. As far as America is concerned‚ you cannot even imagine the pressure on the ANP leadership‚ when it decided to ink agreement [with Sufi Muhammad] in Swat. [Richard] Boucher met me in KPK House. It was one of the worst meetings of my life‚ as he was saying that the agreement should not be inked. I said that we shall sign this agreement‚ as we are aware of our traditions. Anne Paterson was also present in the meeting‚ which lasted for about 45-50 minutes. So‚ we inked that agreement‚ but when it was violated the writ of the government was challenged‚ then there was no other option‚ except to start operation. I want to make it clear here that a political party can only resist against terrorism and extremism‚ but it is duty of the state to eliminate the terrorism and extremism‚ as a political party cannot do it. We resisted and we have been resisting and resultantly‚ you know that questions are being asked about Kalma Tayyaba and there are questions regarding the wives‚ as to which one is favorite? But I shall ask them [Election Commission] today whether free and fair elections will be held or whether they have provided the level playing field to all the political parties. Adnan Wazir is my candidate. He started his election campaign and he took out a rally and he faced suicide attack. Today‚ my candidates cannot run election campaigns openly and cannot hold rallies‚ even though it is claimed that the coming elections will be historic‚ in terms of transparency. Ok‚ I agree‚ but coming back to what you said earlier‚ I want to say that the state and the establishment are the same thing. You cannot oppose the state‚ but one can have reservations against the policies of the establishment and we did it. When I came in the Assembly in 1993‚ you remember that we expressed our reservations that whatever you [establishment] were doing‚ we will have to face the consequences. I remember you were sitting in the gallery [of the parliament] and Nusrat [journalist] was also there. When Taliban captured Kandahar‚ I said on the floor of the House at that time to bring it on the record and I made it very clear that day that you [Pakistani government] is taking Afghanistan toward Talibanization‚ but you will not be able to restrict the Talibanization to Afghanistan only‚ as they [Taliban] will cross Durand Line‚ and if you remember that I still remember the words that were uttered that day. The then Prime Minister‚ Ms Benazir Bhutto (may her soul rest in peace) was also present in the House. It was said Allah may help Pakistan to save from the day‚ when FATA will be under the influence of Taliban and you also wrote article on this issue‚ and Nusrat also wrote article on the issue. We have been fighting against these elements for past 30 years and now the state has reached upon a conclusion and it has now reached on a point‚ where we were 30 years back‚ then why should I criticize the establishment. Aamir: Thirty-year is a long period. Can I ask you about the progress for taking steps to eliminate terrorism in past five years? Asfandyar Wali: I think and you will agree that in 2008-09‚ there was no government in Dir‚ Swat and Bunair. There was no existence of the government in these areas. Today‚ the writ of the government has been restored in the areas. You cannot clean the dirt of 30-35 years in just five years‚ but you can see that Chitral‚ Swat‚ Dir‚ Bunair‚ Malakand and to a large extent Bajaur‚ these areas are now safe areas. A move is underway and now the areas are clear up to Khyber. I would like to say one thing to all of my colleagues that they should differentiate between the incidents of terrorism and the fight against the state‚ which challenges the writ of the government. No state of the world can claim that it has completely succeeded in controlling the terrorism
and the isolated incidents of violence and I think that there is no other power‚ except Allah Almighty to protect you from suicide bombing. Examples are quoted regarding incidents‚ which are taking place in Matani and Badaber. You know that these areas are very close to the boundaries of the FATA. Now‚ the problem is limited to FATA only. Bajaur and Mohmand are almost clear‚ while Orakzai is comparatively clear. Kurram is also comparatively clear. Khyber Agency and the agencies of North and South Waziristan are the areas‚ which are troubled areas and it is unfortunate that Khyber is very close to Peshawar. Aamir: If life of a common man has been made secure in Swat‚ as you have stated that peace has been restored there and if your party will be able to win elections from Swat this time? Asfandyar Wali: ANP received 185 applications for the tickets in 2008‚ but after passage of five years‚ in spite of the threats of Ehsanullah Ahsan [TTP spokesman]‚ it will wonder you that ANP has received 427 applications from candidates of general elections‚ as compared to earlier figure of 185. I think this shows the mindset of the people. If you observe the parliamentary history of Pakistan‚ you will see no incumbent party comes into power again in Pakistan and for the same reasons‚ people describe it a game of musical chairs. Aamir: Would you deal with security concerns regardless of the number of applications‚ you have received‚ as I have recently visited Charsadda‚ where people are complaining that Khan Sahib (Asfandyar Wali) never visits their area. Asfandyar Wali: I am ready to present my life and I am ready to render sacrifice of my life if Ehsanullah Ahsan or Hakeemullah Mehsud want to kill me. I can bear loss of my life‚ but I am concerned about the lives of people. Three attacks have so far been carried out on the rallies of Aftab Khan Sherpao‚ one against Maulana Fazlur Rahman and another against me. You know leader generally remain safe in the attacks. If I am holding a rally‚ I can control it and I can secure it‚ but I cannot secure the audience. So‚ if a mishap occurs‚ who will be the target? So‚ why should I put life of the people of my constituency in danger? Aamir: What measures should be taken to control the terrorist activities if they are not eliminated totally? Asfandyar Wali: You will also agree with the fact that there is always a hardcore element among them [Taliban]‚ while there are some elements‚ which become emotional after hearing speech of some Maulana. The dialogues can bring change in stance of the emotional elements‚ while it is difficult to bring change in stance of the hardcore elements. Aamir: Previously‚ you were of the view that dialogues cannot be initiated with them [Taliban]? Asfandyar Wali: No‚ we held talks with them for the first time in Swat and Dir. I have stated earlier and we still believe that talks should be held with the elements‚ which accept the writ of the state and the supremacy of the Constitution. The people‚ who are asking the Pashtoons to surrender their weapons‚ are not aware of the psyche of Pashtoons. This is not possible. The torture should be condemned‚ and we are prepared to talk if they are ready for it‚ but if you do not condemn torture and you do not accept the writ of the government‚ the Constitution‚ and rule of law‚ then there will be need of exhausting other options. Aamir: You are of the view that Pashtoons never surrender their weapons. Is there any way to end the use of IEDs and suicide jackets to eliminate the unending violence? Asfandyar Wali: It is unfortunate that everyone condemns the drone attacks. ANP was the first party‚ which entered in Bajaur Agency of FATA by taking a procession against the drone attacks‚ in spite of tear-gas‚ firing and baton-charge. No one can contradict me in this regard. You condemn drone attacks‚ as you think that they are violation of airspace and innocent people are killed in them. Yes‚ I agree with it‚ but question arises whether the land boundaries are sacred for us or not. Amazingly‚ most of our politicians are not ready to condemn the violation of our land boundaries‚ when rogue elements from Arab world and also Tajiks are staying at our land. So‚ why only drone attacks are condemned and presence of foreigners at our soil is not condemned. You have to see if a drone attack kills more innocent people or a suicide attack kills more people. The drone attack should be condemned and the collateral damage of these attacks should be condemned‚ but there is need of condemning the presence of foreigners at our land. Aamir: In fact‚ differences of politicians did not suggest a clear way for action against the terrorists‚ but there was unity among people for an action against the terrorists after death
of ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour. Asfandyar Wali: Very few people support them [Taliban]‚ but lot of people are supporting them by staying silent. The political ownership is a real thing in such wars. The operation in Swat and Bunair succeeded‚ because of giving political ownership to it. As far as FATA is concerned‚ only Pashtoons are not residing there‚ but there are people from entire Pakistan and from the world. So‚ there is need of collective political ownership for start of operation in FATA‚ as there is no significance of the stance of one or two political parties. Aamir: Why government did not take initiative for it‚ when ANP was also in power? Asfandyar Wali: We did it in our province. Aamir: But you were in power in centre also and ANP was also responsible for it. Asfandyar Wali: We discussed the issue with everyone. Unfortunately‚ some people say as to why ANP wants to make others target of the terrorists‚ when it is facing threats itself. So‚ it is the mindset. He [TTP spokesman] has recently said that democracy is the target‚ as it is the system of nonbelievers. So‚ the political leaders‚ who claim that they are democratic people‚ should at least gather at one platform. Aamir: Why action is not being taken‚ when we are quite aware about their (Taliban) ideas regarding democracy? Asfandyar Wali: The operation is underway in Orakzai and Khyber agencies. Aamir: But it is without political ownership‚ in an isolated way. Asfandyar Wali: All the major political entities are responsible to give the ownership. Aamir: You have been chairman of Standing Committee on foreign policy in the National Assembly‚ but it is stated that you remained inactive‚ as any kind of mobilization on your part was missing. Asfandyar Wali: I was attacked and later they [terrorists] chased my son‚ who was going to college. A vehicle with 150 kilogram of explosive was seized in this connection. Afterwards‚ I suffered a serious heart attack. Aamir: I was aware of your illness‚ but why illness was kept secret. Asfandyar Wali: It was known to all and I even called back my family from abroad‚ as my son was studying abroad and his mother was with him. Aamir: Are you leaving some model of good governance in KPK? Asfandyar Wali: There were only six universities in the province up to 2008‚ while ANP led government in the province has established five more universities in the province. There were only 46 colleges in the province‚ while the government established 46 more colleges. There were only three colleges in my constituency before 2008 while the government has established four more new colleges‚ including two colleges for women‚ as only education can pave way for progress of a nation. A Mother and Child hospital has been established outside Peshawar for the first time in history of the province. More than 450 schools were blown up in blasts in the province‚ excluding FATA and all these schools have been rebuilt or repaired. You have also witnessed the road network in my constituency. So‚ we are going to contest general elections on basis of our performance and we are not making any alliance with any other party. Let the people decide which is their favorite party. Aamir: How would you comment on the allegations of corruption against ANP led government of KPK‚ as Transparency International in its report claimed that the province faced worst corruption? Asfandyar Wali: We challenged the report. The international agencies work in a strange way. This report was released at a time‚ when there were talks about formation of Hazara province. The Transparency International conducted 98 percent interviews from areas of Hazara Division. The agency kept me at lowest in popularity ratings. When I questioned about it they responded that the ratings have been released on the basis of popularity in Punjab. They should instead check my rating in areas of Mardan or Peshawar. Similarly‚ what will be the popularity ratings of Baloch leader Akhtar Mengal in Hafizabad or Haroonabad? As far as allegations of corruption are concerned‚ I think it is the easiest job to hurl accusations against others. Aamir: Whether ANP has not reduced itself to some pockets‚ as NAP under leadership of Wali Khan was giving a national look. Asfandyar Wali: After dissolution of NAP‚ there was a gulf of differences in interests of provinces and naturally every political party deviated from its line. I am lucky‚ as ANP won seats in three federating units of the country in 2008 elections.
Aamir: But my question is specifically about Punjab. Asfandyar Wali: ANP holds big meetings in Punjab also. I want to quote an incident‚ when I was addressing a Bar in Punjab. I was asked to deliver speech in English. When I started my speech‚ a lawyer‚ who was sitting before me was saying to his colleague amazingly that Asfandyar Wali also knows English. So‚ I want to say that there is a perception [in Punjab] regarding Pashtoons that they are ignorant. There is an issue of finding good candidates in the elections‚ as you cannot find good candidates if you do not have votebank in a certain area. It is matter of fact that every constituency in Pakistan has winning candidates. Nearly 65-70 result of election depends upon a candidate‚ while 30-35 percent depends on a political party. So‚ we have not been able to find proper candidates in Punjab. Afrasiab and other leaders of the party visited Khushab recently and they said that they addressed big public rallies‚ but I was of the view that presence of people in meetings is not a gauge of popularity. Aamir: Formation of Hazara province was the talk of town recently. What is your stance on creation of new provinces in the country? It is generally said that you want integration of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [KPK] but you are against the creation of Hazara province. Asfandyar Wali: We have not said that FATA should be merged with KPK but we have said that people of FATA should be asked their opinion on the issue. If they want a separate province or annexation with KPK‚ it is up to them‚ we have no objection on both the options. As for Hazara province is concerned‚ the movement for the Hazara province started after the NWFP was renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If they hate KPK to that extent‚ they should not forget the demographic division of the Hazara region. It includes Haripur district that consists of Ghazi and Srikot areas‚ which are Pashtoon dominated areas. Abbottabad is 100 percent Hindko speaking while Mansehra‚ Bafa and Ugi are Pushto speaking areas. Toorghar district is fully Pushto speaking area and Batagram is also 100 percent Pushto speaking area. They hate Pakhtunkhwa to the extent that they have stood against its name and are demanding separate province. What would happen to the Pashtoons in these areas if the Hazara province is created out from KPK? Secondly‚ the constitution has provided provision for making a province. They may make a province by following the constitutional procedure if they can. The Constitution has the provision and out of the constitution‚ it is only possible only if some other Musharraf takes over to make it possible. Aamir: This issue is prevailing in all the provinces‚ as there is demand of provinces in Punjab; issue is very much present in Sindh and there is demand of separating Pashtoon and Baloch belts in Balochistan. What should be the formula or principle regarding formation of new provinces‚ which would be acceptable and viable for all the provinces? Asfandyar Wali: If Hazara province is created on the excuse that KPK is for Pashtoons and people of Hazara are not Pashtoons then there are Saraiki speaking and Balochi speaking people in Punjab also. Aamir: I think no one‚ at masses level‚ objects to the formation of new province in Punjab‚ only the outgoing government in Punjab objected to the move. Asfandyar Wali: Let me complete. If we talk about Sindh‚ urban areas are Urdu speaking and rural areas are divided in Sindhi and Baloch people. If provinces are formed on that principle then we should decide that a new demarcation of all the provinces should be made on linguistic and ethnic grounds. In that case‚ if provinces are made on the linguistic and ethnic basis‚ how you will keep them in a unit. Aamir: What do you foresee about Afghanistan‚ particularly in post American withdrawal from the country; what do you think will happen? Asfandyar Wali: I have been highlighting this fact everywhere that the impression that once America or NATO forces leave Afghanistan‚ everything would be all right and there would be no problem in the country. It is totally wrong. Let me make it clear to the huge audience of Radio Pakistan in front of you that so long as the ISAF‚ Pakistan and Afghanistan‚ all the three forces‚ do not evolve an acceptable formula‚ right and concrete exit policy‚ there will be no change in situation of Afghanistan and the region. Departure of International forces of ISAF‚ NATO and US after 2014‚ will create a vacuum. Like me‚ you are also student of history and know better that vacuum is always filled by extremists‚ not by the moderates. The vacuum created by the departure of international forces will be filled by the extremist elements.
There is need that this aspect should be kept in view. Aamir: There is possibility of such a situation as civil war continued after Geneva Accord. The ideal situation is that all the three forces‚ you mentioned‚ should devise a comprehensive exit policy‚ but do you see such a possibility‚ particularly in the current situation? Asfandyar Wali: I am saddened by the role of media as it has started a campaign against politicians and politicians themselves do not spare any opportunity of defaming each other. The intelligentsia of the country is defaming the politicians and the parliament of the country. On the other hand‚ next parliament will have to discuss the exit policy of foreign troops from Afghanistan. If we ourselves devalue our politicians and the parliament‚ on what moral basis and standing‚ the same parliament and the political leadership will hold talks with ISAF and Afghanistan. There are some ground realities‚ we have to accept. Afghanistan is a reality‚ as the Britishers say 'You can't wish it away' it is very much there. Aamir: Do you think that Taliban should be part and parcel of the future setup in Afghanistan? Asfandyar Wali: Definitely‚ they should be part of the future setup. If a 'Talib'‚ says that he is ready to become the part of political process‚ I will be the first person to welcome him. Several people in print and electronic media ask me if election is possible in prevailing situation of violence. I reply to that it is a matter of fact that there are no structured political entities in Afghanistan‚ while Pakistan has well structured political entities‚ Afghanistan is facing problem of civil war‚ while Pakistan is facing only terrorism; Afghanistan has no organized army while Pakistan has organized armed forces. If Afghanistan can hold elections in such a situation‚ you have no right to say that elections cannot be held because there is violence in Pakistan. Secondly‚ I am [KPK and ANP] the prime target of the violence and terrorism but I am demanding that elections should be held‚ then why elections should not be held in other parts of the country. Aamir: Do you favor role for India in Afghanistan? Asfandyar Wali: Afghanistan has been included in SAARC and SAARC is not just Pakistan. SAARC includes India‚ Nepal‚ Sri Lanka‚ Maldives and now Afghanistan also. Why we should object if India constructs a road or a hospital in Afghanistan. If Afghanistan says that why China is constructing Gwadar Port‚ would Islamabad give this right to Kabul to object to China's role in construction of Gwadar Port. We should object to the things for which we ourselves are ready to accept others' objection or we are ready to give the same right to others. We should make such demands to others that we are ready to fulfill if they make the same demand from us. I admit that I had strongly argued that Afghanistan should be made a member of SAARC. Now it is member of SAARC but the platform of SAARC is not being used according to its capacity. If durable peace in Afghanistan is the objective then not just India and Pakistan but Iran and other bordering countries should also be involved and entire region should be taken on board. Aamir: It depends on the relations between Pakistan and India‚ but there was no significant improvement in relations of Pakistan and India during past five years. Issue of awarding the status of Most Favored Nation (MFN) to India remained bone of contention during the last five years. You were also the part of ruling alliance. Did you play any proactive role in this regard? Asfandyar Wali: I played an important role it. I raised this question before Manmohan Singh as to why situation returns to zero whenever both the countries‚ Pakistan and India‚ start moving in a positive direction‚ as non-state actors carry out such activities‚ which take all the efforts to zero level and both the countries go back to the beginning. I had urged Manmohan Singh that both the countries should not take such incidents as obstacles‚ but as irritants. Aamir: In the end‚ I would like to ask you that in KPK the contest usually happened to be among two or three parties but now Pakistan Tehrik-eInsaf is very much there. Do you think‚ PTI will make any difference in the dynamics of KPK politics? Asfandyar Wali: To predict or assess as to which party will win how many seats is a very difficult analysis and is almost impossible in Pakistan. PTI is a political entity. It has a right to do politics in Pakistan. It has entered in politics of KPK. It is all right. How many seats‚ it will win and how many seats other parties will win‚ will be clear on May 11 or on morning of May 12. Aamir: Definitely‚ it will become clear on May 11‚ as to which party wins most of the seats. Thank you very much Asfandyar Wali sahib.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
SBP keeps policy rate unchanged at 9.5pc KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 9.5 percent. The decision was taken by the Central Board of Directors of SBP at its meeting held under the chairmanship of Governor, Mr. Yaseen Anwar in Karachi Friday. The decision to keep the policy rate unchanged was taken in view of the fact that the balance of payments position continues to be driven by low financial inflows and high debt payments. While the external current account deficit is expected to widen further in the remaining months of FY13, the net capital and financial inflows are not likely to increase considerably. In addition, the SBP has to retire another $838 million of IMF loans during the remaining period of FY13 after making payments of $2.2 billion during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. Due to these developments, the pressure on foreign exchange reserves is likely to remain in
the coming months. It was also observed by the Board that contrary to expectations, the year-on-year inflation has come down by 1.5 percentage points; from 8.1 percent in January 2013 to 6.6 percent in March 2013 posing divergent policy choices for the SBP. While the balance of payments position calls for caution, the declining trend in inflation indicates a possible resumption of ease in the policy rate. Following is the complete text of the Monetary Policy Decision: In the monetary policy statement of February 2013, the SBP highlighted two main challenges for monetary policy: to manage the balance of payment position and to contain the possible increase in inflation. Since then, SBP’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by another $2 billion; from 8.7 billion at end-January 2013 to $6.7 billion as of 5th April 2013, mainly due to debt payments. Contrary to expectations, however, year-on-year inflation has come down by 1.5
percentage points; from 8.1 percent in January 2013 to 6.6 percent in March 2013. These developments pose divergent policy choices for the SBP. While the former calls for caution, the latter indicates a possible resumption of ease in the policy rate. The balance of payments position continues to be driven by low financial inflows and high debt payments. A cumulative net capital and financial inflow of $34 million during July – February, FY13 is insufficient to finance the external current account deficit of $700 million for the same period. The role of interest rate is also important in this context as it determines the return on rupee denominated assets relative to foreign currency assets. The idea is to discourage speculative demand for dollars by keeping rupee denominated assets sufficiently lucrative. Real returns on rupee denominated assets have marginally increased due to a substantial decline in inflation.
Moreover, led by a depreciation of 5.2 percent in the Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER), the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) has also depreciated by 4.2 percent during July – February, FY13. This bodes well for the competitiveness of the external trade sector. However, real cost of borrowing has increased, which may be undesirable in the wake of declining private investment and low growth in the economy. The SBP can provide liquidity through short term Open Market Operations (OMOs), which has been the case during most of FY13, as long as inflation expectations remain manageable. One consequence of high level of subsidies is that the government has managed to keep a check on administered prices such as electricity and gas prices and some transportation fares. Apart from financing subsidies, high rate of fiscal borrowing is being used to pay for the already accumulated debt, which does
not represent current government demand. Taken together, these two observations largely explain why despite substantial fiscal borrowings and high growth in M2 inflation has come down. In addition, muted private sector investment expenditures are also having a dampening effect on aggregate demand and thus inflation. Even inflation expectations seem to have moderated, having a broadbased effect on both food and non-food inflation. This is because a major factor in expectation formation is the recent experience of inflation. Any fiscal consolidation effort, which is overdue, can potentially affect the
level of subsidies at the expense of partially unhinging expectations of inflation remaining low. A prudent approach would be to gradually reduce the subsidy burden together with a credible and reform oriented medium term fiscal program. In conclusion, given the risks to the balance of payments position, the Central Board of Directors of SBP has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 9.5 percent. – ONLINE
What’s so radical about a safer ﬁnancial system?
‘Pay and allowances’ funds worth rs 74m allocated to industries’
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Industries & Production Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Shiekh has said that a priority committee of the Ministry of Finance to cater the budgetary requirement under the head “Pay and Allowances” has allocated additional funds of Rs.74 million for the Industries division’s departments/organizations. This allocation is for the Industries division’s departments/organizations like Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Centre (PITAC), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), National Productivity Organization (NPO) and Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) to cater the budgetary requirement under the Head “Pay and Allowances for 201314. Industries & Production Ministry said that heads and CEOs (chief executive officers) of subordinate department’s / companies have given briefing about their performances, projects and problems. During the briefing, the minister assured the babus that their financial woes of these organizations/ departments would be addressed. –STAFF REPORT
secP chairman appointment cancelled I SLAM ABAD: Supreme Court (SC) has declared appointment of chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) null and void. A two members bench of SC presided over by the Justice Jawwad S Khawaja announced this verdict on Friday. Counsels for the petitioners and SECP completed their arguments earlier and the court had reserved its judgment. The court has maintained in its verdict that rules and regulations were not adhered to in the appointment of Chairman SECP and clause 5 of SECP rules is in conflict with law and constitution. Chairman SECP post was not advertised too, court ruled. –ONLINE
PsM ﬁnancial crunch: PM constitutes committee ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has constituted a 3-member committee comprising Secretaries Ministries of Finance‚ Production and Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan Steel Mills to give concrete and practical recommendations to overcome Pakistan Steel Mills present financial woes. The Prime Minister was presiding over a high level meeting to review the overall performance of PSM‚ its issues and challenges‚ at the Prime Minister's House on Friday morning. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Production Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sheikh‚ representatives of Ministries of Finance‚ Planning and Production and Management of PSM. Secretary Ministry of Production Shahid Ullah Baig briefed the Prime Minister on history‚ issues and performance of PSM. –ONLINE
US Dollar Euro British Pound UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Canadian Dollar
98.95 127.82 149.84 26.63 26.13 341.91 95.95
99.20 128.14 150.20 26.85 26.35 348.09 97.54
OMENTUM is building in Washington for a reform that would make extremely large banks less threatening to the U.S. economy. Opponents are calling it “radical.” What’s actually radical - and dangerously so -- is the behavior it seeks to change. Two senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican David Vitter of Louisiana, plan to offer a bill that would require banks to finance their businesses with more equity from shareholders, as opposed to money borrowed from creditors. An early draft, which takes up all of five pages, sets a simple minimum of $1 in equity for each $10 in assets -- a measure far easier to understand and enforce than the complex, risk-weighted capital ratios that global regulators currently favor. For the largest banks, the requirement would be $1.50 per $10 in assets, or 15 percent. The proposal is aimed at removing a major incentive for banks to engage in unduly risky behavior: The more damaging a bank’s failure would be to the economy, the more certain its creditors can be that the government will come to the rescue in an emergency. This too-big-to-fail status allows banks to borrow money at lower rates than they otherwise would -- a taxpayerfunded subsidy that encourages them to borrow recklessly, bloats the financial sector and helps inflate credit bubbles. Boosting equity levels addresses two problems at once. By increasing the role of shareholders, who are first in line to absorb any losses, the measure would make banks less likely to fail. If a bank has 10 percent equity, also known as capital, the value of its assets would have to decline 10 percent to render it insolvent. Current U.S. rules require banks to have capital of only 4 percent of assets, and use a lenient approach to calculate the ratio. Also, higher equity would expose the largest banks to market discipline by reducing their access to taxpayer- subsidized debt. They would have to compete with smaller institutions and independent asset managers on a more equal footing, a challenge that would test their all-in-one business models and almost certainly reduce their profitability. Faced with this reality, shareholders might rethink the generous pay packages that executives enjoy, or even consider breaking down the banks into more manageable and efficient units. Banks have sought to characterize the senators’ proposal as radical, portraying 10 percent or 15 percent capital as an anachronism from the days before federal deposit insurance and other 20th-century innovations. As Financial Services Forum Chief Executive Officer Rob Nichols, a senior bank lobbyist, put it: “Raising required capital to comically high levels will severely restrict banks’ ability to lend to businesses and job creators.” It would be more accurate to say the current level of equity at the largest U.S. banks is comically low. The typical U.S. enterprise has equity of about 70 percent of assets. Research by economists at the Bank of England and a new book by financial economists Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig suggest that banks need equity of at least 20 percent to avoid failures. Under international accounting standards, which are more stringent than U.S. rules, the five largest U.S. banks by assets -- JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- had an average tangible equity ratio of only 3.2 percent as of mid-2012. At the same time, they commanded more than $14 trillion in assets, almost equal to the U.S. economy’s entire annual output. The argument that more equity would restrict banks’ ability to lend doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Capital is not a rainy-day fund that banks must set aside for emergencies. It is money they can use to make loans. If banks raised more equity from shareholders, their lending capacity would increase -particularly in times of crisis, when the added capital would shield them from distress.
MILAN: A building is seen at Porta Nuova district Qatar eyes stake in Milan's new skyscraper city. –AGENCIES
LCCI expresses dismay at SBP keeping policy rate intact OUR STAFF REPORT LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday expressed dismay at the State Bank of Pakistan for keeping the policy rate intact and strongly called for a downward revision to 8% to encourage new investments and revive trade and industry. In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the availability of cheaper money is extremely essential to accelerate industrialization and the financial managers of the country must realize this fact. The LCCI President said that ongoing
depressed economic scenario calls for handholding by the government so that the businesses could prosper. He said that the business community, for the last many months, had been pressing the State Bank of Pakistan for a considerable cut in the policy rate for the sake of economic revival. Farooq Iftikhar said that developed world despite having higher inflation have curtailed interest rates to lowest possible level to protect their trade and industry. The LCCI President said that the State Bank of Pakistan should understand that its continuing tight monetary stance is inflicting a heavy loss on the national economy and is deterring the setting up of
new industries in the country. “If cheaper money would not be made available to the businessmen, new ventures will not come.” Farooq Iftikhar said that the interest rate should be limited to 8% maximum for the sake of expansion in investment activities and for creating jobs for millions of young people entering the job market every year. He said that high interest rate also keeps the manufacturers from investing money in capacity expansion, technological upgradation and product diversification therefore the SBP should bring it down so that the target set in the recently announced three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework could be achieved.
LTIA wants uninterrupted power supply LAHORE: Lahore Township Industries Association (LTIA) has threatened to take extreme step if government fails to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to the industrial sector without any further delay. The LTIA Chairman Nasrullah Mughal was addressing the representatives of the trade and industry associations here at LTIA office on Friday. PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid, LCCI former President Mian Anjum Nisar also spoke on the occasion. The prominent among the participants were Haroon Shafique Chaudhry, Chaudhry Iftikhar Bashir, Mehmood Akhtar, and Syed Mehmood Ghaznvi. Nasrullah Mughal said that if pilferage in controlled and recovery of outstanding dues from other provinces is expedited, the government would be able to curtail loadshedding to a considerable degree. He said that power outage after every hour is not only damaging the industrial processes but had also curtailed productions. He said that the government should come out with a strategy to ensure continuous supply of electricity to the industry.
He said that it was very unfortunate that despite the fact that the industry in Punjab is paying all its dues, it is being denied power and gas. He said that the graph of unemployment is going up with every passing day but the rulers are playing the role of silent spectator. The LTIA Chairman said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan should take notice of the situation in the larger interests of the economy. He said that the MD SNGPL while addressing the industrialists at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the end of month of March had promised to provide gas to industries four days a week but he fulfilled his promise for only ten days. Now once again, they are providing gas for only three days a week. The Chairman PIAF Malik Tahir Javaid said that the situation has turned so bad that leading industrial units are experiencing losses despite being managed professionally. The crisis in industrial sector is not only causing flight of capital and relocation of industrial units to the countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia but had also reduced government revenues drastically. – PR
US asks Pakistan to withdraw addition call charges
International Clearinghouse charges on incoming calls asked to be revised
ISLAMABAD: The US government has written a letter to the Government of Pakistan asking it to withdraw the imposed additional chargesInternational Clearinghouse (ICH) on each incoming call to Pakistan, sources said on Friday. The sources in telecom sector disclosed to this scribe that US government in its letter to the government of Pakistan has asked to remove the ICH imposed on international telecommunications
traffic to Pakistan. The US has written this letter following to the order of United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to all U.S. carriers to suspend immediately all payments to Pakistani long distance international (LDI) operators for termination services that are in excess of the rates that were in effect immediately prior to the rate increase, sources added. When contacted with Rian Harris, a US Embassy Spokesperson in Islamabad to know the reasons behind writing a letter to Pakistani
government by the US government, she said in August, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) issued a policy directive that increased the rates of all voice traffic terminating in Pakistan to $.088 per minute, which is close to a 400% increase from the earlier rate of approximately $.02 per minute. The reported increase represents an increase of about $20 million annually, which U.S. and other international companies will be forced to pass on to
customers placing international calls to Pakistan, or suffer a loss. The directive supported the creation of an International Clearinghouse (ICH), which is a cartel-like structure among the 14 long distance operators currently in Pakistan that would allow for price fixing and quota allocations, which constitutes anti-competitive behaviour. The possibility that this proposal will lower international telecommunications traffic to Pakistan also raises questions with respect to Pakistan's commitment under the WTO to provide reasonable access to its public telecommunications network. US spokesperson also said that the directive could drastically raise rates
for Pakistanis living abroad, with substantial impact on separated families, and could curtail or eliminate competition in the market for telecom services from international and U.S. companies including Vonage, Skype, and AT&T, the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative has raised this issue with the Government of Pakistan. In addition, in response to a petition from U.S. companies, on March 5th, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a statement finding that the MoITT and the PTA directive would result in a substantial increase in the cost of and repress demand for calling Pakistan.
cmyk SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Jim Carrey to star in ‘ricky Stanicky’
Kelly Brook suﬀers wardrobe malfunction
LONDON: Jim Carrey isn t a washed up actor, but he may play one on the big screen. THR reports LONDON: Model›actress Kelly Brook suffered an embarrassi that Carrey has decided to take the title role in the Summit Entertainment comedy Ricky Stanicky. wardrobe malfunction when she left home with her dress According to Deadline.com, Carrey was circling the project for over a year; his final decision to sign unzipped. on The 33›year›old Piranha star stepped out of he came when Steve Oedekerk was attached to direct. Carrey hasn t had luck at the box office of late; he London house to attend the taping of a TV show wearing a co›starred in the recent flop Burt Wonderstone but Ricky Stanicky sounds like a hit waiting to glamorous bright blue frock, reported Daily Mirror. She happen. The film focuses on a trio of teenage friends who burn down their neighbor s house by for the waiting photographers, but Brook failed to reali mistake and then blame the accident on the fictional Ricky Stanicky. Years later, as adults, the friends zipper wasn’t done up and left her dress gaping at the b must conjure up Stanicky and hire a washed›up actor Carrey to play the part. THR compared the Meanwhile Brook said she and former boyfriend Danny Cipr concept of Ricky Stanicky to The Hangover. If Ricky Stanicky sounds familiar, it s because Carreyare just friends insisting she is actually single. Even isn t the first big star attached to the title. Back in 2010, THR reported that James Franco was set toflew off to Paris with him at the weekend and she wrote play Stanicky, but the project never materialized in that form. As the trade notes in the current report, DESK Instagram, about how much she loves ›SHOWBIZ Danny. Joaquin Phoenix was also discussed as a possibility before Carrey. Carrey › has had a busy few weeks.
Don t want to hire anyone for Jal: Goher Mumtaz showbiz desk
video. Earlier there were many artists, who became hit on the web and later producers picked NEW DELHI: Singer Goher them up, added Goher, who is Mumtaz, who started Pakistan› ready with his third album "Pyaas", based band Jal, is not looking released in India under Universal forward to any more additions to Music. his team, saying he is happy The band has a Bollywood jamming with Aamir Shazi. Started connect too, their songs Aadat by Goher in 2002 in Lahore, he and Lamhey were picked up by first uploaded a video of the song filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt for his Aadat on a local web portal. He production ventures Kalyug and was later joined by Shazi and Atif Zeher respectively. Both the songs Aslam, but after certain highs and were huge hit. lows, Jal has now stablised itself as Goher is enjoying all the a two›member band. I don‘t want adulation that he is getting here to hire anyone now. Shazi and I and added: We have been blessed know that this is it and band will with a fan following. the song on the web never break up again, Goherbecame told an instant hit on theuploaded When we launched our band in and later word of mouth madeInternet, he said. He, however, reporters. He says he has worked veryGoher hard popular among music feels now the web space has Pakistan, we did not know that we will one day go to India and become overcrowded. lovers. on his vocals and that he can sing Although he was hugely perform. I see a lot of artists and bands benefited by the technology, Goher 15 songs during a performance. are in this market, the movies feels and India and Pakistan, who Here So far so good. I don‘t want to Internet has its pros from did good very it for us. The hardest thing cons. At that time there was no good, but they cannot make waste anybody else‘s time now. for us is to maintain standard. big because with YouTube anyone There have been many bands, Facebook or YouTube. The Talking about his Bollywood plans, can record and upload. Internet played a very important which have disbanded and never Goher said they are working on a for us at that time. We There could are so many people now made it big. Jal is the onlyrole band, projects and it is the next so much quantity. It is few a little never which made it big because I not am advertise our songs and and for Jal. We will do music for Anyone can uploadthing a had that kind of budget, so saturated. we just very focused, he added. Aadat
Lady Gaga to put career on hold Robbie Williams not <Won’t be back in action until September recording with Adele showbiz desk
won’t be back in action until September, it LONDON: Singer Robbie Williams has rubbished NEW YORK: Although pop star Lady added. Gaga Thefrom Born This Way, singer suffered a reports suggesting that he is back on her feet after recovering labral on her right hip during stage willa be recording a duet with hip surgery, doctors are yet to give hertear a tour27› which was later canceled on Adele. February The ‘Candy‘ clean chit to get back to work. The 12 this surgery. had reportedly year›old ’Judas’ hitmaker is focusing on year followed by the hip hitmaker The tour, which was set to run for 22 more roped in the Oscar›winning her songwriting while she is on recovery, nearly singer for a collaboration on reported New York Post. She has nights a bunchthrough March, will lead to million in refunds. Gaga was his upcoming second album, of projects she wants to roll on,USD but30she spotted walking to a restaurant reported Digital Spy. She needs clearance from her doctors.recently It is her Gaga actor beau, Taylor Kinney. and my wife, Ayda, are really really frustrating her, a sourcewith said. good friends and I‘m really MUMBAI: Bhagyashree looking elegant in a WBD at the screening of Nautan good friends with Simon, her Saala, which releases on friday. boyfriend. We are good pals, but I wouldn‘t ask Adele to sing on my record. The whole world wants Adele to sing on their record. I think we‘ll just leave it as a nice friendship, so that story about a duet is totally made up, he said. However, Williams did confirm that he is planning to record a duet with Grammy Award winning singer showbiz desk Michael Buble. I can tell you that Mr Michael Buble is on the album. Me and Michael on the same record, am so Tom Cruise is one of the LOSI ANGELES: excited! We are going to record a song I have written and stars in the world, but he is biggest movie graciously, he thinks it s a good tune too and to if be he wants his kids to follow not wants so sure on it. I am a big fan girl of him. He is quite a presence. I him into show business. At the premiere am a pop star, I‘ve got a character and a personality of his new and science fiction thriller Oblivion, all that but when he comes into the studio, Cruise I standwas back asked if he would let his six› and just enjoy him being him, ›SHOWBIZ he said. year›old daughter Suri, with ex›wife Katie DESK Holmes, get into acting, reported E! Online. The 50›year›old said any of his kids including the two he adopted with then›wife Nicole Kidman can get into acting if they want to but he is just not going to push it on them. All my kids can get into acting. What I do is try to find out LONDON: The BBC is in a bind after what they’re interested in and support opponents of late British leader MUMBAI: The 90s saw the rise of Govinda to envious them in that. There’s no pressure. I’m Margaret Thatcher pushed the song super stardom. However, his career went down with an lucky. I love what I do. I think with them, Dong! The Witch is Dead to the array of flops from the year 2000. Finally, it Ding was with the it’s just find out what you want to do and top of the charts. An online campaign 2007’s hit film Partner with Salman Khan, which worked support it, he said. Cruise’s 18›year›old drive the Wizard of Oz ditty to the as a comeback for the star. The Govinda›Salmanto jodi son Connor has already given acting a 1 spot on the UK singles chart was worked wonders at the Box Office and got also No Govinda shot, appearing in the 2008 flick "Seven launched back in action. And now, reports are that Salman Khan by Thatcher critics shortly Pounds" with Will Smith. the former prime minister died of and Govinda will be sharing screen space againafter in Mahesh a stroke onof Monday. She was 87. Manjrekar’s next directorial venture. Though the details a top position on the charts the film are not known, it is being said that Normally, the film will a song airtime on the BBC, be produced under Salman’s banner Salman Khan guarantees Being but some called on the broadcaster Human Productions. ›SHOWBIZ DESK not to play the song. John LOS ANGELES: Morgan Freeman has revealed that he is a big fan of Tom Cr Whittingdale, a lawmaker from and the actor was the reason why he signed up for ’Oblivion.’ That w Thatcher’s Conservative party, told the great draw for the project, CBS News quoted him as saying. The 75›ye Daily Mail newspaper that many would said that he has wanted to work with Cruise, since he didn’t know whe find the song "deeply insensitive." apocalyptic action film is based on a graphic novel by film’s directo Messages left for the BBC weren’t Kosinski, whose past credits include ’Tron: Legacy.’ Morgan Freeman s immediately returned. ›SHOWBIZ DESK movie as the leader of a secret human underground movement that was l
Cruise doesn’t want to push children into acti
Salman and Govinda Anti-Thatcher song tops chart to team up again
‘Cruise was one great draw for doing oblivion’
Nautanki Saala showbiz desk
Ayushmann and Kunal are serio
reason. Being a do›gooder that Ram is, he takes an unintentional troublemaking and self›loathing Mandar under his shelter, and f you put together an absurd and a that the best way to heal his new predictable storyline, adapted realises by BFF‘s broken heart is by bringing Nandini director Ramesh Sippy from Pierre back into Salvadori s French play ‘Apres Vous‘, good Mandar‘s life. In the bid to bring actors and Abhishek Bachchan in aNandini cameo back into Mandar‘s life (by the way,get by anow she has found herself a new for some added star attraction, you cheating boyfriend funnily named Loli), something that can be called ‘Nautaki Ram somehow falls for Nandini‘s charms Saala‘, pegged as a comedy of errors by and vice›versa (and she breaks up with the its makers. True, a ‘comedy of errors‘ it is, flippant Loli too). After going through the but the errors outnumber the logic the film entire rigmarole of watching the film, I has. The movie introduces Ram Parmar summed its highs and lows: (Ayushmann Khurana), a theatre artist The music of the film is good and worth playing the part of Raavan in a prolonged listening to, especially songs like Saadi gali play, who bumps into a suicidal Mandar , which is co›composed and sung Lele (Kunal Roy Kapoor) one fine aja night Ayushmann Khurana. The cinematography Besides that, the costumes used for are innovative. Blame it on the actors because the latter‘s girlfriend Nandini enacting the eyes. the theatre sequences inthe themakers, film the actors are a misfit in (Pooja Salvi) had ditched him forbynoManoj good Lobo is quite a treat for
CMYK SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
Monte Carlo Masters Tennis Tournament
Chinese Grand Prix
Nadal begins his bid for 9th successive title tomorrow PARIS: It's 10 years since the rankings didn't feature either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the top two, but current leading men, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, still face a test of claycourt nerve. On Sunday (tomorrow), Nadal begins his bid for a ninth successive Monte Carlo Masters title. The 26-year-old Spaniard, who was seven months out of action with a knee injury, has already hammered home his claycourt dominance in 2013 with comeback titles at Sao Paulo and Acapulco. The seven-time French Open champion romped through the Latin American claycourt swing with a 12-1 record. His clay record for the last 12 months reads 35-2, although his fitness faces another gruelling challenge on European clay this year. Nadal, currently the world number five, has a mountain of points to defend after he clinched Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and the French Open in 2012. His only blip last year was a last-16 defeat to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in Madrid on the hated blue clay, which has since been banned. Nadal is desperate to return to clay on which has won 38 of his 53 career titles. "I missed the feeling of going onto a big stadium with all the people, all this atmosphere that makes you feel something different," said Nadal who added the Indian Wells Masters hardcourt title to
his CV in March. "And the feeling of victory, the feeling of competition, this adrenaline in life." Federer, with his 32nd birthday fast approaching, is sitting out Monte Carlo, but his claycourt record
– 10 titles on the surface – is 15-2 over the past 12 months. That puts him second only to Nadal, having captured the Madrid crown in 2012 before succumbing to Djokovic in the semi-finals in Rome and Roland Garros. World number one Djokovic, the runner-up to Nadal at Monte Carlo in 2009 and 2012, goes into the tournament confident that a right ankle injury sustained on Davis Cup duty won't limit his chances. "After seeing the results of all the tests we did, I am really positive and strong," Djokovic wrote on his Facebook page. "I'm doing the best I can with my team to recover fast and be ready for the upcoming tournaments." Djokovic's defeat to Nadal in the French Open final last year ended his hopes of completing a career Grand Slam. The Serb failed to lift a claycourt title in 2012 having swept Rome, Madrid and Belgrade 12 months earlier. Murray remains an enigma on clay. The US Open and Olympic champion has collected 26 career titles but has never reached a claycourt final, let alone lifts a trophy. Last year, the Scot managed just quarterfinal runs at the French Open, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. "My consistency has been better over the last few months. The rankings obviously reflect that," said Murray. "So I will try and keep working hard during the clay and hopefully I can go higher." –AGENCIES
Massa quickest in Shanghai SHANGHAI: Ferrari's Felipe Massa edged out Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus to set the best time in practice on Friday for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, with Massa's teammate Fernando Alonso third quickest. A rejuvenated Massa set the pace going into qualifying on Saturday with a best lap time of one minute 35.340 seconds, just 0.152sec faster than Raikkonen, the Finn who won the first race of the season in Melbourne. In dry but hazy conditions, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, winner of the Chinese Grand Prix last year and fastest in the first practice earlier in the day, clocked the fourth-best time in the afternoon session. Red Bull's Mark Webber shrugged off his feud with teammate Sebastian Vettel, the world champion, to record the fifth-best time. Vettel, controversial winner in Malaysia last month, was only 10th fastest. The German, who defied team orders in Sepang to take Webber's lead and win the race, was 1.451sec off Brazilian pacesetter Massa. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner batted away the suggestion the furore surrounding Vettel had hurt his performance. Jenson Button was sixthquickest in his clunky McLaren, while his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton, secondfastest in the morning in his new Mercedes, struggled to seventh place. The Force India’s
four Masters triumphs. Among those following him was girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, the reigning Olympic women's downhill ski champion who was wearing a black brace on her surgically repaired right knee. She watched him play the first hole on Thursday. "I can't really walk too much, and it's so hilly here, but I will be here every day until the end," Vonn told the New York Times, planning to spend much of her time in the clubhouse area and following Woods on television. Vonn said she is continuing her rehabilitation from an injury suffered at the world championships. She is working to be ready to defend her crown next February at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. “Everything is good,” she said. “My knee is doing great.” Woods was set to tee off in Friday's penultimate group alongside England's Luke Donald and fellow American Scott Piercy. Just behind them are Aussie Jason Day, Fowler and Ireland's Padraig Harrington. China's 14-year-old schoolboy sensation Guan Tianlang opened with a 73 to stand as the low amateur and the only one with a solid chance to make the cut. He was set for a morning departure as well. Guan became the youngest player in Masters history on Thursday but showed poise under pressure in an impressive debut round over the famed 7,435-yard course. –AGENCIES
Sergio Garcia of Spain plays in the first round of the 77th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. –AGENCIES
of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta were eighth and ninth. McLaren's Sergio Perez, who crashed in the pit entry after the chequered flag in the first practice, was 11th, with Raikkonen's Lotus stablemate Romain Grosjean 12th. Hamilton, who left the circuit early on Thursday because he was unwell, said: "We've made a good start today but there is a lot of work to do overnight. The Chinese Grand Prix, the third race of the new season, is on Sunday. –AGENCIES
PCB likely to appoint Grant Flower as batting coach
Garcia and Leishman share lead at Masters on day one AUGUSTA: Second-round play began Friday in the 77th Masters with Spain's Sergio Garcia and Australian Mark Leishman sharing the lead and Tiger Woods lurking close behind in familiar territory. Overnight rain softened the undulating greens of Augusta National, which surrendered 45 rounds of par or better in Thursday's opening round. But tougher pin placements Friday at Augusta National, 11 of them within five paces of a greenside edge, figure to toughen the test for a world-class field in the year's first major championship. Garcia and Leishman shared the lead on sixunder 66 with Dustin Johnson a stroke behind and South African Trevor Immelman, England's David Lynn, Spaniard Gonzalo FernandezCastano and Americans Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples on 68. Garcia has a morning start alongside 2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera and Aussie Adam Scott while Leishman goes off in the afternoon alongside US amateur T.J. Vogel and 1994 and 1999 Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain. World number one Woods, a 14time major winner seeking his first major title since the 2008 US Open and first Masters triumph since 2005, opened with a 70, the same score that has launched three of his
Felipe Massa takes the second corner before setting the fastest time during the second practice session on Friday. –AGENCIES
OUR STAFF REPORTER
RENNES: French Melanie Henique, competes during the women 200m butterfly series as part of the France Swimming Championships on Friday in western France. –AGENCIES
Westfield faces Kaneria appeal summons LONDON: Mervyn Westfield has been issued with a summons from the High Court in London compelling him to appear at Danish Kaneria's ECB disciplinary appeal. The development is an unusual one and there is some doubt as to whether the High Court has any jurisdiction in the affairs of a sporting body's disciplinary procedure. The appeal is currently scheduled for April 22, with Kaneria expected to travel from Pakistan to England on April 17 to mount his defence against a life suspension from cricket. Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, was banned and charged £100,000 in costs by an ECB panel in June 2012 for his part in the spotfixing case involving former Essex bowler Westfield. Kaneria had been found guilty of inducing his former Essex teammate to underperform in a limited-overs game in 2009 and of bringing the game into disrepute. Westfield,
who was jailed for his role in the case, gave evidence against Kaneria at the hearing. As all boards under the governance of the ICC have an agreement to mirror bans imposed in such circumstances, Kaneria's ban has been effective worldwide. Kaneria's appeal hearing was originally scheduled for December but, after the ECB was unable to gain Westfield's cooperation, it was postponed until April. Without Westfield's evidence, the ECB's case
against Kaneria is severely compromised. Kaneria's lawyers are looking not just for his ban to be overturned – at 32, he harbours hopes of a reviving his international career – but they are also claiming ‘very substantial damages’ from the ECB. Westfield remains reluctant to appear at the appeal. He feels that the harshness of his penalty – a four-month prison sentence and a five-year ban from the first-class game (he is allowed to return to club cricket after three years) – did not reflect the fact that he pleaded guilty and gave evidence and helped the authorities with their investigations. Westfield's lawyers are currently considering their reaction to the summons. Both the ECB and Kaneria insist they want Westfield to appear at the appeal hearing, although it seems the ECB is the party with most to lose from his absence. Kaneria's lawyers remain adamant that, without Westfield's evidence, the ECB “has no case”. –AGENCIES
L AH O RE : The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering former Zimbabwe Test batsman Grant Flower for the position of batting coach. While Flower is currently fulfilling a similar role with the Zimbabwe team, he will be out of contract in August and Zimbabwe Cricket is prevaricating over a new deal. The PCB has confirmed that Flower is in the frame for the role, but stressed that he is one of a few candidates. They have also suggested they may like to fill the position some time before Flower becomes available in August. In response to the PCB advert last year several former Pakistan Test batsmen, including Zaheer Abbas and Saleem Malik, applied for the role but the PCB is looking to hire a candidate with at least Level 3 coaching accreditation and a minimum of five years' experience working with top cricketers. Flower, 42, the younger brother of England coach, Andy, has been Zimbabwe batting coach since October 2010. He applied for the head coach position but lost out to Andy Waller. Flower previously played 67 Tests and 221 ODIs for Zimbabwe.
Donaire looks to extend his win streak today NEW YORK: Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire will put his 12-year, 30-fight win streak on the line when he faces undefeated Guillermo Rigondeaux in a WBA world junior featherweight title bout Saturday (today). The 30-year-old Donaire will be trying to add the WBA title to his WBO crown when the two face off at New York City's Radio City Music Hall venue. In his last bout in December, Donaire was dominant, successfully retaining his title against Jorge Arce, of Mexico, with a third round knockout. He floored the Mexican 2:59 into the round; having already knocked Arce down earlier in the third and also in the second round. Donaire comes into the fight with 31 wins, one loss and 20 knockouts. The 32-year-old Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) is making the third defence of his WBA title but this will be the biggest fight of his pro career. While his professional career has been brief, the Cuban has impressed with his eight knockouts. Underdog Rigondeaux compiled one of the greatest amateur careers of all time before defecting from Cuba four years ago. He captured two Olympic gold medals (2000 and 2004) and won the World Amateur Championship in 2001 and 2005. He won the WBA title with a sixth-round knockout of previously undefeated Rico Ramos in January 2012. –AGENCIES
Why the IPL can’t be much more than a launch pad
Harsha Bhogle n recent days I have had the opportunity to watch Ashish Reddy, Hanuma Vihari, Manan Vohra, Rahul Shukla and some others whose existence television only sporadically acknowledges. If you've looked at scorecards of domestic cricket, you know the names, but you probably only know them merely by the numbers they generate. The IPL allows you to see them, it gives them a platform, and that is one of the reasons I look forward to it every year. A couple of years ago Saurabh
Tiwary told me that he scored a lot of runs for Jharkhand but nobody knew him. He made a couple of thirties for Mumbai Indians and suddenly he was being talked about. It put him in the Indian squad and in the IPL auction. He may have had a financial windfall but it didn't do too much for his future in Indian cricket; he remains, at best, a fringe player. At least at this stage, it tells you a bit about the IPL. What the tournament does give you, and give you better than anything else in international cricket at the moment, is a stage and an opportunity. It doesn't give you too much more, but if you are a young man, you should be willing to give anything for that much. Some take the opportunity, others don't. Some believe the opportunity is the pinnacle of all they ever wanted to do; others think it is the beginning of life in another world. But it doesn't
guarantee you anything, often not even a spot in the Ranji Trophy, as Paul Valthaty and Manvinder Bisla discovered. And as Tiwary now knows, the reputation you acquire in the IPL doesn't count for too much in the Ranji Trophy either. And an IPL match is like an episode
an overnight hero but that was it. It isn't like being in a feature film, where a blockbuster performance is remembered for years – that is the equivalent of a Test hundred. The reason I am saying this is that people either give the IPL way too much importance or seek to get
Young Indian cricketers can’t aﬀord to look at the league as the pinnacle of their cricket in a long-running soap. You don't want to miss the action as it unfolds, but people remember only bits and pieces thereafter. You can therefore trend on Twitter for a day, maybe be talked about for another week, but that is it. Arun Karthik knows it well. A six off the last ball for the Royal Challengers in the Champions League made him
noticed by trying to knock it off its pedestal. Neither is right. The IPL is not a certificate of performance in other forms of cricket. We saw that with Swapnil Asnodkar, with Valthaty, with Manpreet Singh Gony, with Siddharth Trivedi. It is merely an opportunity that you have to take again and again. It doesn't make you a
good first-class cricketer – that is a different game. It makes people look out for you, but that is about the only advantage, even if a significant one. It helped cricketers liked R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, because they used the stage to draw attention towards themselves. They didn't make it in first-class cricket, and thereafter in Test cricket, because they were good in the IPL. They did it because they bowled hundreds of overs when very few people were watching, and perfected their craft. They became ready elsewhere and used the IPL as an opportunity to announce themselves to the world. That is how I believe the IPL must be seen. As an event, that celebrates a specific ability and at a specific moment in time. People who cannot, or are unwilling to, put in the hard yards in four-day or five-day cricket
remain IPL specialists. This isn't only true of those like Mayank Agarwal or Bisla but of others like Tirumalasetti Suman, and for that matter, Munaf Patel. As the IPL gets a greater share of national sporting attention, and as sponsors eye the various price points available to them to claim association, I hope young players don't look at it as the only cricket in their lives. They could do that if, like European football leagues, the IPL ran for six months. But it doesn't and so I hope they use it to draw attention to their skills. If they play four-day cricket, I believe they will extend their T20 career. If the shortest form is all they play, it could lead to a short career.
(Harsha Bhogle is a television presenter and writer, and a commentator on IPL 2013)
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
APRIL 13, 2013
MQM demands release of arrested people
EcP extends deadline for postal ballots ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday extended the deadline for the submission of applications for postal ballots to April 25. Earlier, the ECP had announced April 15 as the last date for receipt of applications for postal ballots for general election to the national assembly and the provincial assemblies. The facility is extended only to the persons in government service, members of armed forces, holders of public offices, their wives and their children as are registered voters and ordinarily reside with them provided they are stationed at a place other than the place in which their home constituency is situated. –STAFF REPORTER
K A R A C HI : Demanding immediate release of people held during raids conducted by Rangers and police in different areas of Karachi, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement has condemned what it said unannounced state operation in the city, home to at least 20 million people and commercial hub of the nation. In a statement issued here on Friday, the party’s decision making body, the MQM Coordination Committee said the MQM supports all the measures to bring peace to Karachi but unfortunately an unannounced operation is being
carried out during which innocent people have been arrested from the areas considered to be strongholds of the party. The Coordination Committee called on President Asif Ali Zardari, interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Interior Minister Malik Habib, Sindh Chief Minister Zahid Qurban Alvi and Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan to take notice of brutal torture on nephews of renowned poet Gulnar Aafrin during siege and raids. Earlier on Thursday, MQM leader Farooq Sattar had alleged at a press conference that a well-
planned state operation had been launched against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement with the country heading toward general elections, alleged Dr Farooq Sattar on Thursday. “The MQM is being unnecessarily hounded by the police and Rangers while criminals have been given a free hand to operate,” he said, adding the party has always demanded stern and indiscriminate action against various mafias and terrorists in order to curb terrorism and targeted killings. “The MQM has a zero-tolerance policy for crime and terrorism but
QUETTA: An official of Balochistan Constabulary was shot dead in Quetta’s Sariyab Road area on Friday, media reports said. Officials said unknown armed targeted Habib Ullah near Chaki Shahwani at Sariyab area when he left his home. He deceased, who was identified as Balochistan Constabulary official, was shifted to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. –ONLINE
QUETTA: Former deputy chairman Senate and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid e-Azam (PML-Q) Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali has joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). According to Media Reports, Mir Jan Jamali announced this while addressing a press conference here on Friday along with PML-N leader Sardar Sanaullah Zehri. On the occasion, Jamali linked Balochistan’s political future with parliamentary system. He said ‘we will bring all PML faction on single platform’. Sanaullah Zehri regretted that unfortunately PML is divided in various factions. He requested Jamali to bring together other friends of PML. It may be noted here that Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali remained deputy chairman of Senate from March 2006 to March 2012. –ONLINE
mengal criticizes past govts for Balochistan situation QUET TA: Chief of Balochistan National Party (BNP) Akhtar Mengal said on Thursday that Balochistan would not be at the brink of destruction if democratic governments were sincere with the province. Talking to media, he said that his party was discussing seat adjustment formula with the PMLN. Mengal criticized the government saying it was not wise to expect any good from the rulers. The BNP chief said that those people were being brought to Balochistan who would work like army. –ONLINE
detaining innocent people in peaceful areas of Karachi on the pretext of house-to-house search by police and Rangers and subjecting them to brutal torture will undermine the environment
man injured in karachi blast
Ex-Senate deputy chairman Jan Jamali joins PmL-N
KARACHI: A leader of the banned outfit has threatened to kill Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) senior leader Haider Abbas Rizvi here on Friday. According to a private TV channel, the MQM leader Rizvi said that he had received life threats from a banned outfit. However, Rizvi said that he would not leave the country at any cost due to threats of extremists. He said that earlier the terrorists attacked him five times, however, the terrorists failed in their nefarious designs. –ONLINE
KARACHI: Relatives weep after offering funeral prayers of a traffic warden who was killed in a firing incident in Soldier Bazaar, at Liaqatabad. –ONLINE
Taliban attack kills 13 in Afghanistan
Musharraf gets bail till 18th SALMAN ABBAS ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday extended former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf 's interim bail till April 18th in the judge’s confinement case. A single member bench of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was hearing the case against the former president for illegally confining 62 judges after declaring a state of emergency on November 3rd, 2007. The court also directed the former military ruler to submit a bond amounting to Rs 0.5 million and also to appear in court on April 18. The former president reached the IHC in tight security and appeared in person before the judge. The judge asked the former president why he came to the high court directly instead of going to the session court first. The court also asked Musharraf to cooperate with the police and appear in person at the next hearing in which the court would further discuss why Musharraf came to the IHC instead of contacting the lower courts first. Justice Sidduqui asked Musharraf to get involved in the investigation and he sent notice to the federation and plaintiff in the case, Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam Ghumman. President Musharraf 's counsel Qamar Afzal told the court his client appeared directly in the high court for security concerns. He said that the allegations against
his client regarding the detention of judges were based on malafide intentions and Musharraf was falsely implicated in the case. He asked the court to grant his client bail because he feared the police might arrest the former president. The court thus extended Musharraf 's transitory bail till April 18. Meanwhile, there was chaos outside the court premises when Pervaiz Musharraf arrived, as a large number of his supporters were present on the occasion whereas on the other hand, many lawyers also registered their protest against the former president. The court administration closed the doors of the high court when Musharraf arrived, not even letting some lawyers in. The lawyers promptly protest against the former president and court administration and put in an application against the IHC registrar for shutting them out.
KABUL: Taliban militants attacked an army outpost near the eastern border with Pakistan on Friday, killing 13 soldiers, the Defense Ministry said. The attack occurred in a volatile province that serves as a major gateway for insurgents coming from Pakistan. Hostilities have surged as weather improves, allowing easier passage through the mountainous area. The fighting began at dawn and lasted about five hours in the Nari district of Kunar province, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi said. He said 13 Afghan soldiers were killed. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said the insurgents captured the base, seizing ammunition and weapons. He put the death toll at 15 Afghan soldiers, claiming the militants suffered no casualties among their fighters. Taliban and other insurgents enjoy refuge in Pakistan's lawless northwestern area and use Kunar as one of their main infiltration routes into Afghanistan. This year's fighting season is being closely watched because Afghan forces have to operate with less support from the international military coalition, making it a test case of their ability to take over the country's security. U.S. and other foreign combat troops are preparing to withdraw by the end of 2014 and are taking on more of an advisory and training role for their Afghan counterparts. –AGENCIES
I S L A M AB AD : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is mulling to withdraw additional security given to PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and former Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif. According to the ECP sources, summary in this regard has been sent to the members of the Commission to get their opinion on the issue. “As soon as they (members) give their opinion, final decision will be taken on the subject” the sources added. According to media reports, former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and his family were continuing to get the security and protocol they enjoyed when Sharif was the chief minister. Around 761 security guards were deputed with the Sharif family, costing millions of rupees a month. The reports said 317 men from the Elite Force, 302 from the Lahore Police’s Security Division, 108 from the Punjab Constabulary and 34 from the Lahore district police were on duty with the Sharifs. The security personnel have been deputed to protect Sharifs’ homes, offices and family members. Over 100 of security
up. "I am tired of denying such rumours and now I want this to end once and for all," Wasim told after Indian media claimed Thursday that the couple were about to tie the knot in Mumbai. Wasim said he and Sen were good friends only. "She is one of the most graceful and decent ladies I have come across," said Wasim of the 37-yearold Bollywood star. "It was huge fun working as judge with Sushmita as she is a thorough professional and presents herself gracefully." The dance show also featured Indian cricket stars
Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Nikhil Chopra and Vinod Kambli and was also telecast on a leading Pakistani channel. Wasim described the show as a good experience. "The show was well received and was admired across the borders and that was it. If I get another chance to work with her I will do but I want the media of both the countries to respect us," said Wasim. Wasim said he is devoted to bringing up his two sons, Taimur and Akbar. "I want to bring them up and make them good and
successful human beings, so my life is devoted to my sons," said Wasim. Sen has two adopted daughters and has yet to marry. Wasim said their personal lives should be respected. "I have my own personal life and she has her own, so the media and fans should not disrespect that," said Wasim, who has taken a year's leave as a bowling coach in the Indian Premier League to spend time with sons. "I have always felt at home in India and the kind of respect I get in India is very pleasing so I will continue to work as and when I get time, but as my sons also needed
personnel are deputed only for the protection of Nawaz Sharif and his family which also include Captain Safdar, son in law of Nawaz, Mariam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Kulsoom Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Salman Shahbaz, Nusrat Shahbaz and children of the family. According to Shaukat Basra, former deputy opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Elite Force commandoes are providing security to Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif and their families at the expense of Rs20 million per month of taxpayers’ money. Their entitlement being former prime minister and chief minister was 20 security men only, he added. Basra said that the Sharifs were behaving like de-facto PM and CM and this kind of protocol could affect the holding of fair, free and impartial elections in Punjab. Basra had called upon Caretaker CM Najam Sethi to withdraw the major chunk of the Elite Force personnel and resources deputed to provide security to Nawaz, Shahbaz and their families at the expense of the Lahorites who were facing street crimes, kidnapping and robberies.
IHC dismisses PTV MD OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed state television’s managing director (MD) Yousaf Baig Mirza and directed the information ministry to appoint a new MD within one month on merit. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique was hearing the case filed by former PTV MD Ashraf Azeem in which he challenged the appointment of Yousaf. The court also appointed Engineer Mustafa Kamal Kazi as an interim head of the state television. The counsel for Yousaf Mirza, Advocate Naeem Bukhari presented the detailed record of employees appointed during the tenure of Yousaf and also record of their salaries. Deputy Attorney General told the court that former principal secretary to PM Nargis Sethi had issued the verbal orders to appoint Yousuf Baig Mirza as PTV MD by removing Ashraf Azeem. He said that it was clearly mentioned in the summary regarding appointment
Wasim Akram demands privacy from fans, media KA RACH I /M U M BAI : Pakistan cricket icon Wasim Akram demanded privacy and respect from fans and media alike Friday, calling for an end ‘once and for all’ to rumours he was marrying Bollywood heroine Sushmita Sen. While Sushmita Sen has also denied the reports The famed paceman has been linked constantly in the media to the 1994 Miss Universe since they were judges in 2008 Indian dance show "Aik Khilari, Aik Haseena" (A player, a beauty). Wasim, a widower since his wife Huma died in October 2009, said he was fed
conducive for election activities,” the MQM leader said. He claimed this was a conspiracy to restrict the electoral and political activities of the party and snatch some of its seats by force. –AGENCIES
Sharifs may have to shed some security
Balochistan constabulary man gunned down in Quetta
KARACHI: A man was injured in a bomb attack on an auto workshop located in the metropolis area of Orangi Town in wee hours of Friday, media reported Friday. According to SP Orangi Town Chaudhry Asad, some miscreants riding a motorbike fled after hurling explosives under a vehicle outside the showroom, causing a powerful blast which was heard far and wide. The explosion slightly injured a man and damaged a vehicle parked outside the workshop. According to bomb disposal squad, at least two kilograms of explosives activated through a time device, were used in the blast. –ONLINE
Taliban threaten to kill Haider Abbas Rizvi
time I have taken leave from the IPL this year," said Wasim. Meanwhile Sushmita Sen, the model and actress, who was rumoured to be tying the knot with former Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, has denied the reports, according to Indian newspaper Times of India. "Sushmita's too busy to plan a wedding," the actress' spokesperson told the newspaper, "It's not true at all. In fact Sushmita is having a show in Mumbai on the 24th of this month. I don't think she can have an event in Mumbai as well as plan her wedding simultaneously." –ONLINE
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmeen Majeed Printing Press 69 Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.
of Yousaf as MD that all the process was carried out on the verbal orders of Nargis Sethi. It is pertinent to mention here that during the last hearing, Yousaf, himself, admitted that the prescribed rules were not followed during the process of his appointment. However, his counsel said that not even a single MD in PTV was appointed following the prescribed rules. After hearing the arguments, the court disposed of the case by dismissing Yousaf Baig Mirza from the post of MD, PTV.