NIGHTMARES OF MALIK RIAZ PG I 03 THURSDAY February 28, 2013
WRITING OFF LOANS TO BENEFIT THE RICH
GENESIS OF SECTARIANISM IN GILGIT-BALTISTAN
– MOHAMMAD JAMIL
– ISRAR AHSAN
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Rabi-us-Sani 17, 1434 I Rawalpindi/Islamabad I Vol V, No. 315 I www.thespokesman.pk
SC seeks record of appeals in Musharraf attack case Hearing review appeals filed by the convicts of Musharraf attack case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Judge Advocate General branch of Pakistan Armed Forces to produce a complete record of the convicts’ appeals until February 28. A threemember bench noted that the court would examine whether the Field General Court Martial had decided the matter in accordance with its law or not. Page 04
Itʼs Makhdoom Ahmed vs Shahab-Kazmi The ruling PPP is divided in Liaquatpur tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan as the political situation has changed in the district after the entry of Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood into PPP. Liaquatpur covers NA-192 (a constituency PPP’s Hamid Saeed Kazmi), while there are three Punjab Assembly seats – PP285, PP-286 and PP-287 – for the tehsil. Qazi Ahmed Saeed, a former MPA of Functional League, resigned from the party and is now seeking the PPP ticket. Page 05
Big B writes blog on Kareena Kapoor Amitabh Bachchan, who has had a strained relationship with the Kapoor family ever since his son, actor Abhishek Bachchan’s engagement with Karisma Kapoor broke off a decade back, has written a blog about Karisma’s younger sister Kareena Kapoor. In the blog, Big B speaks of how a young Kareena had been troubled by an action scene in Pukar (1983), in which Big B was beating up her father Randhir Kapoor. Page 10
Afridi to campaign against use of drugs Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will lead drug prevention campaign aiming at keeping youth off drugs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s six districts where experts reported rise in use of drugs. Page 11
OUR STAFF REPORTER TEHRAN: President Asif Ali Zardari in a meeting with Supreme Leader of Iran Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also present on the occasion. –ONLINE
No load-shedding: Ministry
Govt misuses water for power SAHTAK BALOCH
ISLAMABAD: Indus River System
Authority (IRSA) has taken notice of additional release of water from Tarbela and Mangla dams by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to increase the hydroelectric power production in the wake of increasing demand-supply gap in the country. Though Water and Power Ministry has claimed ‘ an end to load-shedding’, and restoration of power supply across the country, yet the fact surfaced here that 400,000 cusecs additional release of water from Mangla and Tarbela dams during last fifteen days was to control load shedding by increased hydro power . To meet the objective, WAPDA despite having no power over the release of water had managed release of water in an apparent bid to produce increased hydro power to meet the burgeoning demands of electric power. Additional release of water from both dams is still continued, sources in the ministry told The Spokesman on
Wednesday. “After illegal release of 400,000 cusecs of water stored for agriculture from Mangla and Tarbela dams, the water storage level left with Mangla Dam is 500,000 cusecs while Tarbela dam is left only with 900,000 cusecs water in their separate reservoirs, which is shockingly less than the demands of provinces to meet the demands of agriculture sector, particularly for wheat crop, a senior official said. He added that IRSA had taken notice of additional release of water from both dams. Online adds: The Ministry of Water and Power claimed on Wednesday that electricity shortfall in the country has ended. According to a ministry spokesman the production of electricity is 8,000 megawatts while the demand is 7,875 megawatts. Pakistan experienced a national blackout on Sunday with no power in most of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta and Azad Kashmir.
Parties outnumber election symbols STAFF REPORT
With 227 political parties registered against the 193 election symbols approved by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the upcoming general elections, the Commission has decided to seek preference of the political parties pertaining to the allotment of the symbols in the next week. With deletion of certain election symbols as Egg, ‘Lota’, Cat, Lady Finger, Flower Vase, Flower Pot and Mango, the election symbols available with the ECP have come down to
193 while the number of political parties registered with the ECP is 227. The political parties have outnumbered the election symbols and the ECP has decided to seek fresh applications from the parties to give their preferences regarding the allotment of symbols. It is worthwhile to mention here that the President had also approved 23 new election symbols. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has already applied for ‘Cricket Bat’ as its election symbol after it failed in getting “Scales”. The number of approved election symbols in 2008 was 147.
PML-N offers PPP truce in NA ZEESHAN JAVAID
The PML-N on Wednesday offered its arch rival PPP a ‘cease fire’ as the National Assembly (NA) is about to complete its parliamentary term on March 16. Following question hour the atmosphere in the house turned noisy when chairman of proceedings Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry interrupted Syed Zafar Ali Shah to cut shot his long speech on a point of order and then switched off his mike, prompting some members of PML-N to protest.The chair reminded the PML-N that Mr. Shah took more time than the usual routine on a point of order but the opposition party lawmakers insisted that Shah be allowed to complete his speech. Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza rushed to the house from her chamber and advised the lawmakers not to be rowdy in the house and leave a bad taste in the mouth at the tail end of its term.
HIGH: 21 LOW: 07 A passing shower
Pages 12 I Price 10/-
PM seeks names for caretaker PM from Opp leader
Bahria Town attempts to get legal cover for illegal action In an effort to get legal cover for illegal activity, the administration of Bahria Dastarkhwan on Wednesday moved the Islamabad High Court against the Capital Development Authority and challenged a notice sent by the civic body to them. Bahria Dastarkhwan has been set up in front of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for providing free food to the attendants and other poor people. Page 02
When PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafiq took the floor on a point of order,he said most legislators wanted to leave with pleasant memories and despite some reservations from his PML-N, the parliament had earned a good name by making key legislations such as the restoration of the judiciary, a vibrant media, independent Election Commission of Pakistan and the mechanism for a caretaker setup. The bill establishing the Capital University of Science & Technology had fostered positivity on both sides of the aisle when the PPP agreed to put this legislation on hold until some objections by the PML-N were removed. Minister for Capital Administration and Development (CAD) Nazar Mohammad Gondal said the government side had no objection to deferring the bill to address the PML-N's reservations. PML-N’s Zahid Hamid misunderstood the bill when he said that
a Science & Technology University already existed in the federal capital. Gondal clarified that the bill had nothing to do with the existing university. Earlier, the PML-N's Zafar Ali Shah took the government to task and pointed out that President Zardari was attempting to influence the elections in Sindh and no one including the ECP in Sindh could do anything without it. PPP’s Shazia Marri criticized Zafar Ali Shah by pointing out that he had changed his loyalties (from the PPP to the PML-N) so much so that now he was calling Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto 'late Bhutto' rather than 'Shaheed Bhutto'. Advocate Usman Khan from Balochistan said people from his province had serious reservations about handing over Gwadar Port to China and urged that the agreement be made public. He pointed out that this agreement would only benefit China.
Zardari, Nejad discuss gasline TEHRAN:
President Asif Ali Zardari has held wide ranging talks with his Iranian counterpart Mahmud Ahmedinejad on bilateral and regional issues in Tehran. According to media reports, the President, who arrived in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon on a two-day official visit, will also discuss regional peace in the context of Afghanistan. They held a one-on-one meeting before delegation-level talks on projects including PakIran gas pipeline and provision of cheap electricity to some parts of Balochistan. –ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: In what could be considered
the first practical step towards the formation of a caretaker setup, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday asked Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, ChaudhryNisar Ali Khan, to propose names who, in his opinion, are qualified to be caretaker prime minister of Pakistan. In a letter to Nisar, the PM asked him to initiate the process under Article 224 of the Constitution to arrive at a consensus on the appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister "who could uphold the national interest and ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country prior to the dissolution of the National Assembly on the expiry of its term otherwise we will be constrained to proceed further in the matter as per Article 224 (A) of the Constitution”. The PM said the people of Pakistan rightly expect the political leadership to rise to the occasion and agree upon the most suitable person as caretaker Prime Minster and pave the way for holding general elections in an impartial, fair and transparent manner. “Let us enable the people of Pakistan to express their will in an exemplary environment and ensure smooth transition of power to the next elected government”, he added.
The PM said all political parties, within and outside the parliament and national institutions deserve special praise for their support to the democratic process over the last five years. The caretaker Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing National Assembly. If the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition do not agree on any person within three days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, they shall forward two nominees each to a committee to be immediately constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly, consisting of eight members of the outgoing NA, or the Senate, or both, having equal representation from the Treasury and the Opposition, to be nominated by the prime minister and the leader of the opposition respectively. The committee will finalise the name of the caretaker Prime Minister within three days of the referral of the matter to it. In case of inability of the committee to decide the matter in the aforesaid period, the names of the nominees shall be referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for final decision within two days. The incumbent Prime Minister shall continue to hold office till the appointment of the caretaker Prime Minister.
OUR STAFF REPORTER
Negligence of the Capital Development Authority officials surfaced on Wednesday during the heavy downpour when rainwater enter into the CDA
headquarters and accumulated in front of the office of the chairman and other senior officials. Due to the leakage, rainwater enters into the CDA headquarters and also reached in front of the CDA chairman’s office, sources in the CDA told The
Spokesman. He said that immediate steps were taken to overcome the situation after which the water leakage could be stopped. Though CDA taken immediate steps to stop water leakage in its headquarters but still reluctant to maintain roads and
other government buildings which have created a lot of hardships for residents of the capital city. On several roads of the capital, huge ditch holes can be seen which become death trap during the rainy season. The situation is most appalling on the
under construction roads. Commuters on Kashmir Highway told The Spokesman that neither the civic body nor the contractor has placed any warning boards on the avenue which has put lives of citizens in danger.
ISLAMABAD: Ibrar, the boyfriend of
Zara Mehek, a BS Mass Communications student of NUML, killed ten-year-old Shehzadi Bibi to cure his AIDS, Islamabad Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan said at a press conference on Wednesday. He (Ibrar) told Zehra Mehek that he was suffering from AIDS that could only be treated if he had sex with “any other girl”, the top cop said, while quoting Mehek. The couple killed the poor girl, dumped her body in a dry gutter after burning it only after Ibrar had sex with her, Bani Amin Khan said. ONLINE
FIA nabs three for illegal money transfer
ISLAMABAD: The Federal
Lack of parking places results in traffic jams
ISLAMABAD: Lack of car parking
facility in all the markets of federal capital have not only retarded pace of business activities but have given rise to traffic mess. In all the larger and smaller markets including Blue area, Aabpara, Melody market, Super market and Jinnah super, car parking facility is next to nil. The car owners park their cars alongside the roads which causes not only traffic jams but also lead to multiply road accidents. “We cannot find space for parking our motorcycles in the market what to speak of car parking. We have to park them in front of homes and we have to incur wrath of the owners of the homes,” said a trader. ONLINE
Argentine envoy hosts dinner in Kharʼs honour
OUR STAFF REPORTER
Argentine Republic Ambassador Rodolfo J Martin Saravia hosted a dinner in honour of Minister of Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar at a local hotel. Speaking on the occasion, Rodolfo said that Hina Khar has always been a good example of professionalism and has given selfless service to Pakistan and its people and her youth was no obstacle to fulfilling her duties as minister. Pakistan and Argentine share nonpermanent seats at the UN Security Council, he said.
ISLAMABAD: Hailstones on a pine tree look like pearls, after rain in the federal capital on Wednesday. —ONLINE
Bahria Town attempts to get legal cover for illegal action SALMAN ABBAS
ISLAMABAD: In an effort to get legal cover
for illegal activity, administration of Bahria Dastarkhwan on Wednesday moved the Islamabad High Court against the Capital Development Authority and challenged a notice sent by the civic body to them. Bahria Dastarkhwan has been set up by in front of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for providing free food to the attendants and other poor people. As the land which the administration has occupied was of CDA, so the civic body has issued
notice to them for vacating its land. Barrister Ammar moved the petition on behalf of Rukhsana memorial trust which was named on mother of property tycoon Malik Riaz. The petitioner contended that Bahria Dastarkhwan was a charity service and it was established to facilitate the poor people and attendants, adding that the people from farflung area visit PIMS and the said Dastarkhwan was a great facility for them. He added that the CDA director Enforcement Naveedul Haq wanted to take action against Bahria Dastarkhwan just for his vested interests.
However, on the other hand CDA sources said that the petition was a move by Bahria administration just to delay the action against them despite the fact that Islamabad High Court itself issued directives to the civic body for taking action against the Bahria Dastarkhwan. Sources said that during the tenure of former CDA chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, the CDA Directorate of Municipal Administration had issued license to the management which has been expired and now the Bahria administration has no right to occupy the land.
Mosque shops without CDA approval SALMAN ABBAS
ISLAMABAD: Due to the lenient
attitude of the Capital Development Authority towards impeding illegal activities in the federal capital, the administration of Rehmania Masjid located near the Abpara Chowk have constructed shops in front of the mosque without any approval from the concerned authorities. Ironic is the fact that mosque committee chairman Alamgir Khan said openly that CDA cannot even dare to touch the shutter of these shops. Some twomonth back, the administration of Rehmania Masjid, which is located near the Abpara Market, constructed eight shops within the mosque land in its front side and also rented out all these shops under the pretext of raising funds for bearing the expenses like electricity and gas bills. Besides tarnishing the image of people who offer prayers in the mosque five times a day but are silent over the fund raising through unauthorised means, this also raised questions about the inspectors and supervisors of the CDA working under the Directorate of Enforcement and Directorate of Building Control
Section (BCS), who are liable to present report of such illegal activities before their high-ups. CDA sources alleged that most of the inspectors and supervisors were getting hefty amount from all the people involved in such illegal activities to remain silent over the issues. A shopkeeper in one of the shops told this scribe
OUR STAFF REPORTER
British High Commissioner Adam Thomson hosted a lunch for William Dalrymple, the British author of a new book, Return of a King – The Battle for Afghanistan. The book, an analysis of the first Afghan war, uses fresh contemporary accounts of the conflict. Dalrymple, a prize-winning and bestselling historian, has written eight acclaimed books on a wide variety of subjects. In his new book, Dalrymple has uncovered sources never used before, including nine previously full-length contemporary Afghan accounts of the conflict and the autobiography of Shah Shuja himself. Speaking at the book launch, the British high commissioner said that the ‘Return of a King’ was a product of William Dalrymple’s many years of passionate engagement and research in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. It is an exemplary history by a great modern British historian and writer. On the perspectives of Afghans, and of British and regional actors of the nineteenth century, the book no doubt offers food for thought for policymakers today. “The book enriches our understanding of the deep historical ties that Britain shares with Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of South Asia,” he said. It will certainly bring the story of these ties to a large new audience. “I am sure that ‘Return of a King’ will be read not only with enjoyment but also with great interest in Pakistan,” he said.
Ibrar killed poor Shehzadi to cure his AIDS
investigation Agency has nabbed threemember group that was shifting crore rupees foreign calls illegally on Pakistani Networks. According to Media reports, the FIA Director General has given three member teams to terminate the illegally VOIPs traffickers that raided in the area of F11 and apprehended three persons who were involved in VOIPs trafficking. While talking to Media Personals the Cyber Crime Rawalpindi circles SHO Farooq Latif has verified that they arrested three personals and the case has been registered against them under section 36, 37 and 109 while also presented infront of apex court soon. Meanwhile, the other member of this committee also claimed that when any call comes from America And Britain these persons transfer on Pakistani local networks illegally due to which the government is facing annual deficit of million rupees in every year. ONLINE
UK HC fetes author of book on Afghan war
that they were paying Rs 7000 as rent of each shop, adding that all the money was going into the pocket of the mosque committee. Alamgir Khan, who heads the mosque committee, told The Spokesman that the Auqaf Department had stopped funds to the mosque for the last several months due to which they were
finding it difficult to bear the expenses of the religious place. “I have taken a step to construct these shops just to arrange some amount for mosque and for doing this, I do not need any approval from CDA,” he said, adding the CDA men even cannot dare to touch shutters of these shops. He said that the area where shops were constructed was useless and they have not encroached upon the CDA land but carry out all the construction in the premises of the mosque. Abpara Market President Ajmal Baloch said that the said shops were not included in the market due to which he could not comment over the issue. However, traders of another nearby market told The Spokesman that the illegal construction of shops right at main road has badly affected their businesses as now customers prefer to go there instead of coming in the market. BCS Directorate Deputy Director General Ghulam Murtaza Malik, when contacted, said that they have not allowed the mosque to construct shops and any such activity came under nonconfirming use. He made it clear that the construction of shops in a mosque premises in such a way was totally illegal.
Brazilians mix art with social consciousness ISLAMABAD: Mixing art with social and
environmental consciousness is one of the main features of contemporary Brazilian culture, very well represented by Patubatê, a music group brought to Islamabad by the Embassy of Brazil. In the hands of the musicians Fred Magalhães, Fernando Mazoni, Gustavo Lavoura, Pablo Maia and DJ Leandronik, scrap is not junk, it is music, since Patubatê uses raw and recyclable materials to build their musical instruments. Innovative sounds and a catching energy are extracted from cans, buckets, large barrels and even parts of automobiles. The group has already performed in many different countries, such as the US, Spain, Portugal, Poland, China, Kenya, Botswana and Gabon, and is in South Asia for the first time. Patubatê will play in two different occasions in Islamabad. The first show will be on coming Friday at the Serena Hotel and second one at the Pakistan National Council for the Arts (PNCA). The group, together with the Embassy of Brazil, will offer a workshop for the children in collaboration with the Lettuce Bee Kids, an NGO which works with garbage picking children in Islamabad. In the workshop, which will take place on the coming Saturday at the Brazilian embassy, the musicians will teach the children how to build instruments from scrap and how to play some of the most popular Brazilian rhythms. —Rabiah Baig
Japanese film on last Shangri La on earth to be screened today ISLAMABAD:
Pakistan National Council of Arts, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, will screen ‘A Chair on the Plains,’ a rare film shot partly in Japan and partly in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley (Gilgit-Baltistan) on Thursday. The story goes as Kentaro Toma (Koichi Sato), a sales executive at a camera manufacturing company, is divorced from his wife and lives with his 20-year-old daughter. One day, Toma strikes up a friendship with a client, Juzo Togashi (Masahiko Nishimura), the president of Togashi Camera. Toma is initially at a loss as to how to relate to his new middle-aged friend. But Togashi's sincere nature gradually leads him to trust the man. At the same time, Toma also meets
Kishiko Shinohara (Michiko Kichise), the owner of a pottery store, who eventually goes to Hunza Valley with him and Togashi. As Toma and his new friends share their deepest thoughts and fears, they find themselves searching for alternatives to their current lives. One day, the three friends meet Keisuke, a four-year-old boy, emotionally wounded by his mother. Keisuke is wary, but instinctively takes to Kishiko. Soon, Toma comes across a mysterious photograph of a chair placed in the empty plains, but somehow the image pierces his heart. The four become convinced that the photo is their Shangri La, and decide to journey to the Hunza Valley, the last
Shangri La on earth. Traveling through the vast open plains, they encounter unfamiliar emotions and values, which lead them to the discoveries of their identities at the end of the journey. The viewers can only imagine what the four individuals have found in the majestic landscape and how they will embark on their respective lives thereafter. Original novel: Teru Miyamoto, the Japanese master novelist, lost his home in the earthquake of 1995, and thus embarked on an epic journey six months later. He traveled the great Silk Road of some 6700 kilometres for 40 grueling days. Confronted with a vast desolation of endless plains, he contemplated the meaning of existence and wrote “A Chair on the Plains.”
Moved by the book, Masato Hara, the producer of Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (directed by Nagisa Oshima) and Ran (directed by Akira Kurosawa) spent 10 years to adapt it into a film. Director Izuru Narushima, who made his debut as a student director in 1986 with The Green Woman at the PIA Film Festival, is the director of the film, A Chair on the Plains. Narushima made his debut as a screenplay writer in 1994 and as a director in 2004. Since then, he has directed Fly, Daddy, Fly, Midnight Eagle, Love Fight and A Lone Scalpel. In 2012, his most recent film Rebirth won 10 awards in the major categories in Japan Academy Awards, including the best director award. –RABIAH BAIG
Rainwater swamps CDA headquarters
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
POWER ALLEYS |
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Realtor rewards Top Cop slamabad’s Top Cop has never had it so good. He was already amply rewarded for being the private guardian of the biggest realtor. He has risked everything for the Realtor, even a contempt notice by the Supreme Court. ‘Over my dead body’, he told the realtor when he feared he might be arrested in Rawalpindi. He sent his most loyal and trained commandoes to protect the Realtor. What if a few laws got broken, the city’s law and order got wrecked and principles—what principles? The Realtor has been equally responsive. His latest wish has been granted. His son has been appointed as a director in the bomb disposal squad. Nothing wrong if he had a training of just one week while the requirement was a mandatory one to three years training. The Realtor was quite straight with the Boss on the Hill about him. He told the Boss all the good things that the Top Cop had done for him. Also the fact that he got the realtor’s son out of the country on his own son’s boarding card. Now that was daring, wasn’t it? The Realtor also told the boss that they will need him once the caretakers come in. The Realtor could not survive without the police. So who will deliver in those troublesome days? When push comes to shove, the Top Cop will be on their side. So what is a small job between friends? Bomb explosions keep happening anyway despite those better trained experts. Shhhh…
Shiraz Hassan @ShirazHassan
70 barber shops have been destroyed along with 130 bridges, 28 police stations and 39 basic health units by militants #KP #FATA#Pakistan
Asma Jahangir @Asma_Jahangir
Either sloppy intellegence and security services or deliberate neglect. Why are the governments so helpless ? We demand action.
Saloo Durrani @SalooDurrani
@Asma_Jahangir No minorities there. We are all equal when it comes to graveyard. Pakistan is OUR graveyard.
Aseefa B Zardari @AseefaBZ
"We must always be on guard for those who will exploit and manipulate the Holy Book for their own narrow political ends..."#SMBB
Aseefa B Zardari @AseefaBZ
"Our people must be free, free to be Sunnis and Shias as long as they are good Pakistanis." #SMBB 1999
SADAF ( Ab Tak ) @sadaf_Ary
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Nadia Jamil @NJLahori
tanuu badal barkha dajj kahoon tanuu bijli ta baran kahoon tanuu aab kahoon tanuu khak kahoon tanuu baad kahoon weeran kahoon
@HamidMirGEO PTI suspends basic membership of Khalid Aziz Lone for violence against media. #PTI #PMLN
Sana BALOCH @Senator_Baloch
#Balochistan's human resource & social development is not a priority- Beijing, Islamabad & Tehran are only interested in economic advantages
Malik Riaz may have hundreds of cases against him but has never been jailed even once. Nor his son, Ali Riaz who is Bahria Town’s Chief executive. Both father and son have been Amir Mateen nominated in numerous cases of murder, fraud and forgery but the so-called long arm of the law has been drastically short in their case. Even when the Supreme Court ordered their arrest, the Islamabad Police always came to their rescue. Remember when five people died while watching an illegal car race that was organized by Ali Riaz in Bahria Town? The Supreme Court issued stern orders to arrest the junior Malik on a murder charge. “Ali Jail nahi jaye ga,”the Sultana Daku in Malik Riaz is believed to have thundered to Islamabad’s top cop. He never did. Islamabad police not only protected him from, interestingly, Islamabad police but made sure he was smuggled to Dubai. The case has since been ‘handled.’ Two former Federal Law Ministers issued
statements against the charge. A dozen columnists and TV anchors criticized the judiciary for its activism. The country’s biggest lawyers were hired to contest the case. The prosecution was cooperative in framing a weak case. Bahria’s Security Officer took the blame for organizing the race, not Ali. Witnesses and the families of the victims have either been pressured into submission or bought over. Period. This happens in hundreds of such cases where Malik Riaz is always the ‘judge, jury and the hangman.’ A similar pattern exists in most cases. A crime, usually involving murder in land-grabbing, takes place. Poor people get robbed of their ancestral land through fake documents or coercion. As the police is always partial towards Malik Riaz, the victims run to newspaper offices or to the courts for redress. In most cases the police tortures them further, involving them in fake cases and making them submit to the Don Riaz. If the victims are lucky the news comes out and the courts take notice of the complaint. But again the partial police, administration and the prosecution makes sure the evidence is weak and the Don gets away most of the time. It is the same Bollywood movie theme that we see again and again.
This happens in hundreds of such cases where Malik Riaz is always the ‘judge, jury and the hangman.’ A similar pattern exists in most cases. A crime, usually involving murder in land-grabbing, takes place. Poor people get robbed of their ancestral land through fake documents or coercion. As the police is always partial towards Malik Riaz, the victims run to newspaper offices or to the courts for redress. In most cases the police tortures them further, involving them in fake cases and making them submit to the Don Riaz.
Dr Shafiqur Rehman’s case should explain. Dr Rehman, a land developer, is fighting Malik Riaz for the last 16 years. The ‘Dabangg-style’ feud between the two began in 1996 when Malik Riaz tried to acquire Rehman’s 900 kanals that wasadjacent to Bahria Town. Rehman won the case in a civil court after 12 years oflitigation. The landgrabbing, after all, is all about reputation and one blood spill could encourage other sharks. Rehman claimed in his petition that Malik had asked him to withdraw or face dire consequences. When Rehman refused to oblige he was framed in a dubious murder of Malik’s guard, Mohammad Fayyaz, that happened a year ago. Malik’s Security In-charge identified Shafiq as one of the ‘70 accomplices.’ Shafiq was picked up from Lahore by Islamabad Police without any jurisdiction and thrown in jail. When he got out on bail, Malik got huge advertisements published in the name of Fayyaz’s father, appealing to the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Shamraiza has since been paid another Rs 20 million to hush up. Most of the Bollywood-like script is from the Supreme Court proceedings that got published in the media sketchily. The perjury case against Malik Riaz and his son is serious as the fabrication of evidence in a murder case has the same penalty that is reserved for murder. Believe me the next few months are more crucial for Malik Riaz than for the rest of the country that awaits the election. Many such cases are close to their conclusion. The noose seems finally tightening around the Don as he cannot survive without the official patronage. For the time being, he continues to run the Capital. The police are at his beck and call. He is given more security and protocol than any Minister. But the Don, we are told, can’t sleep these days and wakes up in the middle of the night because of nightmares. What if the PPP government does not return to power? What if the Islamabad IG Police is changed? What if they also change the SHOs of Bara Kahu and Sihala? What if his moles in the lesser judiciary and administration stop listening to him? What if Shahbaz Sharif continues to block his LDA schemes? What if he could not survive till next year when the two most important people get retired? What if he or his son Ali had to go to jail? What if Hamid Ali Khan and Aitezaz Ahsan also back out from contesting his cases? What if his paid anchors and columnists stop taking his tweets? Basically, what if he gets, in his own words "Scrooooed?" No wonder he is building $ 45 billion castles in the air so that he could be spared from these cases in the larger ‘national interests’, the argument being that the saviours who bring in foreign investment worth “billions of dollars” should be spared for a few ‘omissions of murders, forgeries, frauds etc.’ The ads for a new castle of Port Qasim are out— more about that later. Nightmares should continue.
Court. Shafiq was painted as “the most dangerous man” from whom the deceased’s family sought protection. Shafiq claims that Malik had given the guard’s family six million rupees. Malik also nominated 11 other land rivals among the 70 accomplices. Most people backed out of their claims when framed in a murder charge and locked up by the blatantly partial police .However, Shafiq stood his ground. In due time, the Supreme Court took up the case. Bollywood style, the story took a new twist when the deceased’s wife Shamraiza claimed Malik Riaz was the murderer before the SC bench. She accused Malik of murdering her husband just to blame it on his rivals. By the way, this was also the time when Malik Riaz got upset by the superior courts which led to his onslaught. Shafiq got acquitted in the case and has now charged Malik Riaz of fabricatingevidence to frame him and others in a murder charge. Also accused in the case are many police officials. Shafiq claims that
‘Chota ae par zehr da tota ae’ MIRZA KHURRAM SHAHZAD QUETTA: ‘Chota ae par zehr da tota ae’ was the response of a young Pakhtun soldier of the Frontier Corps when one of them joked that his force can’t control a small city like Quetta. “This small city is calm for most of the time, but when something happens, it is very poisonous,” said the soldier guarding an important crossroad in the Quetta city. “Then the impact of that event is not small. It is huge and kills dozens of people, so do not call it a small city,” he said. The capital of Balochistan, with a complex and diverse population of over 2.5 million, is right now in the grip of sectarian violence. Two major attacks in two months have killed around 200 people from the minority Shia Hazara community. A trip around the city suggests that the security forces are present but their activity is useless because they are not available where and when they are required. Almost all the crossroads of the city and important avenues have a heavy presence of FC and Police, but they are not seen at the Sariab Road, around Afghan refugees’ localities and the vicinities where the Islamic hardliners take refuge. The soldiers remain posted at various places in the city for the whole day but as the sun sets, they are nowhere except their permanent posts and the rest of the city is open to all kinds of criminals and terrorists to roam around.
In Sariab Road, which is the hub of hardliner Islamists and Baloch ethnic groups, hardly a soldier is seen there. Wall chalking at the Sariab Road in favor of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and ‘Independent Balochistan’ suggests that the security forces are reluctant to operate there and remove the anti-state slogans. Just on Saturday, when Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) announced a shutter down strike after some LeJ workers were arrested and a few others were killed during an encounter with the forces, the administration handed over the city to them. The workers of ASWJ and sympathizers of LeJ were openly roaming around the streets on motorcycles armed with weapons and clubs and there was nobody to stop them. Many of the ASWJ workers were seen forcing traders to close their shops and breaking the glass and gates of the shops which were opened. They also assaulted many of the shopkeepers. But for the administration, it was part of their efforts to bring peace back to the city. “As you know they protested yesterday with dead bodies of their workers killed in the encounter and blocked the roads, so we provided them some room to solve the problem,” a senior administration official said when asked why they were reluctant to take action against the law violators. Asked about the Sariab Road status, he said: “Our forces do operate in the whole city and get deployed wherever they need to. I am not aware of any il-
legal activity in that specific area or the fact that there is no presence of the forces”. But not only at Sariab Road, in Akhtarabad, which is very close to Hazara town and where most of the ASWJ workers live among a huge number of Afghan refugees, there is also no presence of the forces. Even the deployment around the Hazara town and Alamdar road was almost zero before the two deadly attacks on January 10 and February 16, in which 92 and 90 people were killed respectively. The Hazara community members complain that the LeJ activists get refuge in Akhtarabad after attacking their fellows but the forces don’t take any action.
are in the society which provides them refuge, so police and other forces can’t overcome everything. We need to change mind of the society,” the police official, who heads special operations, said. Where paramilitary troops are deployed they also act casually or authoritatively. There is no sign of any professional training which enables a soldier to identify a criminal on the first gaze. At most of the posts soldiers are found talking to each other instead of observing the passersby professionally. And when things are tight and they are asked to monitor everybody closely, they humiliate and disrespect the people. Otherwise, everybody gets a goahead after replying to some questions like “who are you”, “where are you going” and “from where have you come?” A senior official of the Frontier Corps (FC) agrees that the soldiers are not well trained but still insists that they are doing well. “Of course they are part of our society; they get mixed with the people of other forces. If the officials of two other soldiers are relaxing and not doing their job well, how can FC soldiers stay away from these habits?” he asked and added they are still doing great. “Both Baloch and Islamic militants are getting weakened. They are not that powerful now and that is because of these soldiers. A few incidents to which you are referring are exceptions and exceptions are always there,” he said.
“We have limited resources and can’t operate everywhere. We can’t go to every doorstep and search for the law violators,” admitted a senior police official who requested anonymity. “What will happen if we launch a search operation, we will go door to door and will also arrest some of them and confiscate the weapons but some other people will emerge and start operating,” he said, adding that the problem will not be controlled until state policies are not changed. “Hundreds of seminaries in the country are producing thousands of religious extremists every year. The extremists’ organizations are being funded by the rich businessmen who have a liking for them. Sympathizers
Wattoo Shepherding Turncoats in Punjab MOHAMMED RIZWAN he Wattoo factor finally comes into play. In a signature move the wily former Punjab chief minister yesterday roped in two MPAs from the ‘floating’ “unification” bloc of Pakistan Muslim League. The move also indicates that so far, despite restless efforts by the Chaudhry brothers, the PPP partners are not listening to the PML pleas. In neverending seat adjustment negotiations between the two parties, PPP has categorically refused to listen to the PML standpoint that the adjustment should be made on the basis of 2008 elections results. Hence the seat won by the party will be retained while in case of lost result the runner-up party will have the preference. However, PPP knows that PML has lost its appeal since then and there have been mass defections in the party ever since.
The case of unification bloc, a 47member chunk that broke ranks with PML and allied themselves with PMLN is an interesting one. Although the party, riding on the advantage of being the Sarkari party in 2008, showed impressive results by grabbing 86 seats, the split didn’t take much time to take effect. Half of the party aligned themselves with the ruling PML-N, although technically they remained part of the PML. The reason was the dangling sword of the defection clause which deterred the MPAs from formally joining the Sharifs. However, the group got divided further into two groups between those who supported a blind following of PML-N, led by Ata Maneka from Pakpattan, and those who argued in favor of an assurance of cabinet slots and other privileges from PML-N before falling into the ruling party’s lap. This group was led by Tahir Ali Javed, the former Health Minister
in Pervaiz Elahi’s cabinet and who absconded after a case registered against him in Nebraska. This group maintained their old PML ties with the Chaudhries and flirted with their parent party on and off. Now as the jockeying for the 2013 elections begins, this is the largest free
floating chunk of MPAs that seems to have no takers. They can’t join PML-N straightaway as the assurance of a ticket is not forthcoming while the PPP option does not look as attractive since the fortunes of the party are plummeting fast. Imran’s PTI has already announced that it won’t take
anyone from PML-N or the PPP due to strong opposition from the party organizations at the district level. So where do they go? This is where Wattoo chips in. Ever since the former chief minister, who has the reputation of being a master of local political wheeling and
dealings, was given the task of reviving the PPP’s floundering fortunes in Punjab, no big shot has joined the PPP and even worse, the PML-N didn’t give a damn. The much-hyped joining of Raja brothers from Jhelum is said to be the handiwork of President Zardari’s real estate tycoon friend. That puts pressure on Wattoo to deliver. And the only people he could focus on are these PML free-floaters. One of the MPAs, Khalid Sargana, was already almost out of the assembly as the Lahore High Court had declared his BA degree fake in the January verdict while Asma Mamdot is a reserved seat member and a disciple of Punjab governor Ahmed Mahmood who is a PPP nominee. In this context, more free-floaters from the PML are expected to join PPP in Punjab, provided the PML-N shuts its door on them. Resigning now is the safest option for them as the time for by-elections is over.
enom Inc. This should not be held against me in a court of law as I solemnly declare that these are absolute lies, dirty whispers and wild speculation that I have heard while crawling in the dark power corridors of the creepy Capital. You will believe them at your own risk Shh...If you have venom to spill please don’t hesitate to share with us on our blog at www.thespokesman.pk
Nightmares of Malik Riaz-VI
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
NTDC shifts load onto power consumers
No Pak-Afghan border crossing without documents: Malik
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that nobody without legal documents including visa or permit would be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border from the 8th of next month. Talking to newsmen after attending a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday‚ the minister regretted that Afghanistan did not cooperate to check illegal crossing of the border despite repeated requests from Pakistan. He said that this would also help in controlling smuggling from across the border. The Interior Minister said that Pakistan and Iran had agreed to set up four check posts, two each on Pakistani and Iranian side of the Pak-Iran border at Taftan. The Iranian Interior Minister would visit Pakistan shortly to finalize modalities in this regard. He said that duty free trade zones would be established near the check posts. Rehman Malik said that provinces had been asked to provide details about banned organizations within three days. He asked Punjab government to take action against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He said he will prove that Lashkar-eJhangvi was involved in bomb blasts and target killings in Karachi‚ Quetta and Peshawar. He said it was proven that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Taliban had links with each other. ONLINE
Pindi refuses to heed CMʼs land recovery orders
RAWALPINDI: Land mafia has
illegally occupied land property costing billion of rupees in respect of 18 state run schools in Rawalpindi city due to negligence of district administration. Despite clear directives from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for recovery of the land from illegal possession of the land mafia, the district administration has not taken any action to comply with the orders. Due to lack of any move from the concerned quarters the land mafia has divided the grabbed land into commercial plots and the grabbers are selling them with impunity at costly rates. The affected educational institutions stand confined to only a few rooms being deprived of vast tracts of land. The land grabbers have taken into their illegal possession 16 kanal land of Government Pehlvi School Faizabad, 26 kanal land of Government High School No 1, 2 kanal land of Government Denies High School, Government Islamia High School No 2, Government Islamia High School No 3, Government Christian School, Government Ziaul Uloom Raja Bazar, Government Shimla High School Raja Bazaar, Government Muslim School Gulshanabad, Government Muslim High School No 1, Government Muslim High School No 2, Government Boys High School Khiaban-e-Sirsyed, Sector-3, Government High School Khiaban, Sector-4, Government Jamia High School, Government Jamia Girls High School Dhok Kashmirian, Government Shimla High School Aria Mohalla, Government Madrissah Milla High School and Government Commerce College. Occupation of massive land of government run schools by land grabbers has undermined educational activities in these institutions due to availability of less space for the children in the rooms. ONLINE
Nigerian envoy meets NDU president Lt Gen Nasser
OUR STAFF REPORTER
ISLAMABAD: Nigeria and Pakistan
enjoy very cordial military relations since 1960 and both the countries have been playing a vital role in promoting peace in the world by participating in military peace keeping under the United Nations Security resolutions, said Nigerian Ambassador Dauda Danladi Mni at a meeting with National Defence University President Lt-Gen Nasser Khan Janjua on Monday. The NDU president and Nigeria High Commissioner agreed that there is a need for further enhancing the military collaboration between Nigeria and Pakistan. Over the years, many Nigerian military officers have been trained and are still undergoing training in various Pakistani military institutions while the Nigeria hope to benefit from Pakistan's experience in the areas of training and counter- terrorism. General Janjua appreciated the excellent performance shown by the Nigerian Military Officers undergoing training at the National Defence University.
RAWALPINDI: People watching rescue efforts after a wall of a girls school collapsed in Wednesday’s rain, causing injuries to several students. ONLINE
SC seeks record of appeals in Musharraf attack case MASOOD REHMAN
ISLAMABAD: Hearing review appeals filed
by the convicts of Musharraf attack case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Judge Advocate General branch of Pakistan Armed Forces to produce complete record of the convicts’ appeals until February 28. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed noted that the court would examine whether the Field General Court Martial had decided the matter in accordance with its law or not. Mujeebur Rehman, counsel for Defense Ministry, told the court that under Section 133 (B) of Pakistan Army Act, court of appeal had the authority to reduce or enhance the sentence of a convict. Hashmat Ali Habib, counsel for appellants, stated that the sentence of the accused was enhanced by the court of appeal, despite the accused had not filed any appeal against their
sentence. He contended that the sentence of his clients was illegally enhanced by the military court. According to Hashmat Habib, the military court, on July 21, 2005, had awarded sentence to two accused of Musharraf attack case- Rana Muhammad Naveed and Aamir Sohail. Rana Naveed was awarded life imprisonment, whereas Aamir Sohial was awarded 20-year incarceration. However, on December 8, 2005, the court of appeal had converted the sentences into death penalty. The Supreme Court had also upheld the decision of the military court by dismissing the review petitions of Rana Muhammad Naveed and Aamir Sohail, who were convicted in Musharraf attack case, against enhancement of their sentence by the military court. The Supreme Court had also rejected the review appeals of 10 convicts sentenced to death for their involvement in two attempts to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf in 2003.
The court, however, had sought and examined complete record produced by the Defense Ministry about the death sentence handed down by a military appellate court to Naveed and Sohail. The court had upheld its Sept 2006 decision rejecting the review petitions. The convicts, seven of them civilians, one army man and four air force personnel, had requested the court to reverse the verdict on the grounds that they had been awarded death sentence without any evidence. The convicts whose review petitions were rejected included- Mushtaq, Rashid Qureshi, Ikhlas, Sarwar Bhatti, Zubair Ahmad (civilians), Arshad Mahmood (army), Khalid Mehmood, Nawazish Ali, Niaz Ahmad and Adnan (air force). Another accused Shazia Mubashir had been acquitted by an antiterrorism court. Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf had narrowly escaped the attempts on his life one on Dec 14 and the other on Dec 25, 2003, in Rawalpindi.
Despite surfacing the facts behind the recent massive breakdown which plunged the entire country into darkness, the power giant National Transmission and Dispatch Company on Wednesday came with a new claim that the incident occurred because of consuming additional volume of power by a power distribution company than its quota. A senior NTDC official on condition not to be named told The Spokesman that one of the five power distribution companies on Sunday consumed electricity more than its quota, which caused the frequency of electricity control down up to 48.5 points with difference of 1.5 of actual proposed frequency by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority as 50 to 50.2 points. However, the officer was reluctant to disclose the name and region of the distribution company, while numeric game of power frequency was also endorsed by NTDC Managing Director Musadiq Ahmed Khan in the meeting of Senate’s Standing Committee on Water and Power. The meeting of the parliamentary panel, which was held here at the Parliament House under Senator Zahid Khan, was informed by the managing director that there was no mechanism to check the real time data of the power consumption by the distribution companies according to quota fixed for the regions. He said that the Peshawar Electric Supply Company was allocated 720MW power consumption, while the company consumed additional 150MW than the allocated quota; similarly some other power distribution company also maintained the power consumption than its quota on the crisis night. He also informed the committee that NTDC planned to install SMS-CDP devices over more than 444 grids to maintain the real time data, which could be helpful to maintain the set power frequency 50 to 50.2 points. The senior NTDC official also recommended conducting technical audit of all power distribution companies on monthly basis to minimize the power theft cases.
Cuban ambassador opens fashion exhibition at RAC OUR STAFF REPORTER
Rawalpindi Arts Council on Wednesday organised a fashion designing exhibition showcasing works of students of the Fashion Designing class. Cuban Ambassador to Pakistan Jesus Zenen Buergo Concepcion flanked by Naheed Manzoor and RAC Resident Director Waqar Ahmed inaugurated the exhibition by cutting ribbon. Over 150 dresses and handmade jewelry prepared by promising 30 students of RAC fashion designing course have been displayed at the exhibition, which attracted a huge gathering. The students used techniques of fabric painting, silk paining, screen painting and stitching techniques in their works under the supervision of Rizwana Timsal.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Jesus Zenen Buergo said he was pleased to see the exhibition and works of the students showed their talent and interest in the subject. He said that he hoped all students would flourish in the fashion industry after completing their course. Naheed Manzoor said that the exhibition of works of the fashion designing students would boost their confidence and encourage them to pursue their courses with more attention and diligence. She said their works were not in any way of less value than professional fashion designers. Besides imparting fashion designing training to its students, the Art Council has provided them an opportunity to introduce their works to the general public, the RAC resident director said.
RAWALPINDI: Jesus Zenen Buergo’s wife cutting a ribbon to inaugurate works by students.
Our researchers getting Grave of killer couple’s victim new tech, says HEC chief to be exhumed in a few days ISLAMABAD: HEC Chairperson Dr. Javaid R. Laghari has said that under Post-
Doctoral Fellowship Programme of Higher Education Commission, Pakistani scholars are acquiring new technologies and knowledge from academically advanced countries. According to a press release, the HEC chairperson remarked that as per programme, Pakistani researchers are contributing for the socio-economic development of the country through practical application of knowledge and techniques. So far, around 563 Pakistani researchers of public sector R&D organization holding PhD degrees have been provided opportunity to work at leading higher education institutions and state-of-the-art laboratories of academically advanced countries. The scholars have worked in multifarious fields of biotechnology, food sciences, animal nutrition, bio chemistry, nano technology, plasma physics, cell biology, civil & environmental engineering, fisheries, pharmaceutical chemistry, high energy physics, leadership, culture & social preferences, geophysics, mathematics, computer sciences, business education, social sciences, humanities, environmental sciences and other disciplines. ONLINE
ISLAMABAD: Grave exhumation of a diseased
daughter of a senior police official, who was killed after becoming the second victim of Zahra Mehek and Ibrar, is expected to be carried out in next few days. Police sources have confirmed that the girl was buried without any postmortem in November 2012, but after confession of her murder by the killer couple the police will exhume her grave for her postmortem and to present evidence against the accused couple in court. Investigation officer ASI Mansoor told The Spokesman that the police have decided to exhume the grave of the girl who was killed by Mehek and Ibrar few months ago, but conditionally, if her family permitted the police.
He further said that the senior police official will not prevent the police for grave exhumation as they know the laws too. He also said that the police have been given remand of the two accused for two days and the timeframe for the grave exhumation depends upon the judicial proceedings. When he was asked about either the accused girl is mature or under age, he replied, “according to our information, the girl is mature and adult, but it will be proved after her medical checkup as the court orders.” On the other hand, Advocate Muzammil Din Gujjar, lawyer of Zahra Mehek, told The Spokesman that his client was under age and does not even possess her national identity card which is issued after adulthood.
Pakistan, US, UN start anti-drug campaigns ISLAMABAD: US Consul General Robert
Reed has stressed on US commitment to work with Pakistani Government, UN for comprehensive anti-drug campaigns, helping millions of young Pakistanis at best levels. Reed joined KP Governor Shaukat ullah Khan in a ceremony to launch a drug prevention awareness campaign in six major cities of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa, at such major cities of Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Charsadda, Swat, and Noweshara) with equal participation, contribution in project by local NGOs such as the DOST Foundation. “Pakistan has a growing population under the age of 15, which, in combination with economic challenges and the ready availability of drugs, makes drug use prevention crucial in controlling what could be a major health challenge in the future,” remarked Consul General Reed. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime drug demand reduction specialist Dr.
Nadeem Rehman stated, that “We have worked in close cooperation with the governments of Pakistan and the United States to design and implement a comprehensive approach to drug prevention.” Over the next three months, local-language drug prevention messages will be placed on billboards at strategic locations, with similar messages aired from FM radio broadcasts and local TV. Pakistani cricket star and UN Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Shahid Afridi has committed to serve as the campaign spokesperson, encouraging youth to avoid drugs and participate in healthy activities through the promotion of sports. Fun community-based activities in schools and colleges will supplement the anti-drug message, which would include Shahid Afridi hosting a KP province-wide cricket tournament for young Pakistanis, arranging qualifying cricket matches between various
schools and colleges in six selected campaign cities; out of which one winning school and college team per city will be selected to compete in the final tournament. Major radio, newspaper, and TV news outlets will be invited to cover the event. The Ministry of Narcotics Control will also establish an assistance hot line to receive questions from the public. The Drug Prevention Campaign is one of several projects supported by the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. In addition to this comprehensive awareness campaign, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section funds over two dozen drug treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout Pakistan, while supporting Pakistan’s AntiNarcotics Force, as well as the KP police, with training and equipment. ONLINE
KARACHI: Lawyers walk on MA Jinnah Road during their peace rally against terrorism and target killings. ONLINE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Peshawar police seize drugs, arrest three
PESHAWAR: Police foiled a bid to
smuggle drugs during separate actions and arrested three culprits on Wednesday. According to details, the police during snap checking at Peshawar Motorways recovered one kilogramme of hashish from a vehicle coming from Bajaur Agency. The police arrested an accused hailing from the agency. During the search of another vehicle at Karkhano check post in Hayatabad, police recovered two kilograms of heroin and arrested two culprits. The recovered drugs were taken into custody and separate cases were registered in both the incidents. INP
Robbers gun down woman for resisting
SHEIKHUPURA: Robbers gunned
down a woman on resistance during a robbery attempt and fled with looted valuables on early Wednesday. According to details, a man identified as Zafar hailing from Lahore while on his way to Gujranwala stopped his car at a petrol pump in Manoabad locality of Kala Shah Kaku in Tehsil Muridkey for Fajr prayers. During this time some armed robbers kidnapped his wife along with car and gunned down her upon resistance and fled with looted jewellery and Rs 200,000 cash. The car was later found parked nearby the scene with dead body of the woman. AGENCIES
Long feud claims two lives in Jamrud
KHYBER AGENCY: Two real
brothers were shot by their rivals on Wednesday in the Godar area of Jamrud, official sources said. According to the political administration, Mir Ahmad and Mir Wali were on their way to Jamrud bazaar in connection with some business matters when the armed enemies intercepted them and shot them dead on the spot. The killers successfully managed to escape after committing the crime. The motive behind the killing is stated to be an old enmity. STAFF REPORT
Plantation drive launched in Gilgit
GILGIT: A day after Gilgit-Baltistan
Forests Department formally kicked off tree plantation campaign in the region, officials in the Karakoram International University [KIU] on Wednesday planted more than 2,000 saplings in the campus. The drive was kicked off by the KIU vice-chancellor, Dr Najma Najam, in the campus by planting a sapling. Addressing the students and other faculty members, Najam said the trees were helpful for a natural and clean environment and asked every member of the university to at least plant one sapling and look after it. â€œWe have introduced a cohesive system of irrigation in the campus that is why the survival rate of the trees has been more than 90 percent in the campus,â€? she said while addressing the students and faculty. Earlier on Tuesday, the Gilgitâ€“ Baltistan forests department announced it would plant 1100,000 saplings in the region. â€œâ€œWe have a target of planting 1 million trees but we would make it more than that,â€? said Khadim Hussain, GilgitBaltistan secretary forests. He said that last year, they planted slightly less than 1 million plants in the region despite financial resource constraints. Like elsewhere in the country, though thousands of trees are planted every year in this mountainous region of Gilgitâ€“ Baltistan, their survival rate is very low. That is why, question are raised from several quarters whey the forests reserves are on the decline despite planting of thousands of trees annually. STAFF REPORT
Unique hujra system of Pakhtuns decaying Institution serves as a tool to promote culture, resolve disputes Western democracy, judicial system besides terrorism have damaged it ASADULLAH MAYAR
MARDAN: Pakhtuns have thousands
of years of history and a rich culture. There are some unique things in the Pakhtun society which others donâ€™t have. Hujra is one of them and considered to be the most important part of Pakhtun culture. It can be described as place where the Pakhtuns and their guests sit together. In Pakistan, Afghanistan and all over the world where ever Pakhtuns are found, there exists the hujra too. Exclusively for the male population, it serves host to all parts of social life â€“ from resolving various disputes to proposing marriages and holding wedding functions. A typical hujra is a place which is owned and
run by the elders of the tribe and family where female are not allowed to enter. According to the Pakhtun culture and traditions, everyone can visit the hujra, whether it is day or night time. Hospitality is also considered a pride of Pakhtuns; and for this very reason, everyone tries to serve the guests in hujra, as it is considered a shame if a guest leaves a hujra without being served food. The essentials of a hujra include cots (beds), instruments of local music (like rubab, sittar, mange, baja (harmonium) and shpelay) as well chilam (huqqa). They are found almost in every hujra. Every night after dinner, young people and even some elders gather in hujra for enjoying the folk music. They sing folk songs mostly
about love and bravery in the battlefield and praising the martyrs. The most interesting thing about the Pakhtuns is that the music profession is considered a stigma among them. According to the famous Pashtu poet and philosopher Ghani Khan, â€œPakhtuns love music but have contempt for the musicians.â€? According to some historians, the Pakhtuns are the descendents of Greeks and nothing supports this argument more than the institution of hujra. Just like the Athenian democracy, the Pakhtuns have a system of democratic decision-making, where hujra serves as state council of the tribe. Whenever they have a dispute, the elders convene a meeting of jirga and
resolve the matter. Hujra is a unique system and it has played a key role in the society besides promoting and transferring the Pakhtun culture and traditions to the next generations, as it is the place where both the elders and the young sit together for exchanging their views. In the Pakhtun society, it is thought that if a person gets masters degree from a university but did not attend the hujra, it means that he did not pass the society. Times have changed and like every other thing the institution of hujra is severely affected by this tide and not to forget terrorism in the recent past. Hundreds of elders have been killed by terrorists who were the leaders and decision-makers in the society, while
hundreds of hujras have also been destroyed by the terrorists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Balochistan and Afghanistan. On the other hand, the introduction of western democracy and judicial system has eliminated the role of hujra as a council and courts. Hujra, which survived all kind of strains and stresses during its life, is now on the verge of extension. In Pakistan, these are only restricted mostly to the tribal belt and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Only future will tell whether we gain something or lose by abolishing this unique system, but we can be sure that an essential part of Pakhtun society and culture is going into oblivion forever.
Itâ€™s Makhdoom Ahmed vs Shahab-Kazmi
PPP stands divided in Rahim Yar Khan as two groups try to get party tickets for their own men ATHAR LASHARI
RAHIM YAR KHAN: The
ruling PPP is divided in Liaquatpur tehsil of Rahim Yar Khan, as political situation has changed in the district after the entry of Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood into PPP. Liaquatpur, covers NA192 (a constituency PPPâ€™s Hamid Saeed Kazmi), while there are three Punjab Assembly seats â€“ PP-285, PP-286 and PP-287 â€“ for the tehsil. Qazi Ahmed Saeed, a former MPA of Functional League, resigned from the party and followed Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood into PPP. Now, Qazi is again a candidate from the same constituency and seeking the PPP ticket. In 2002, he grabbed the seat for PML-Q but switched over to PML-F before 2008 elections with Makhdoom Ahmed group. In many corner meetings, Makhdoom Ahmed announced Qaziâ€™s as a PPP ticket holder from PP-268. On the other hand, the ephedrine case-fame Makhdoom Shahabuddin is in favour of a new candidate, Amir Nawaz Chandia. Makhdoom Ahmed has also announced Khawaja Qutab Fareed Koreeja for the PPPâ€™s ticket in NA 192 replacing Kazmi, who gained unwanted fame in the Haj scandal. In this scenario, there is likely to be cold war
between the Punjab governor and the duo of Makhdoom Shahab and Kazmi in the district. According to Javed Iqbal Warraich, the PPP MNA constituency covering the city area of Rahim Yar Khan, this cold war can damage the party vote and image. â€œDefinitely, the sitting MPA is always a first priority for any party; therefore, Qazi should be the one. But the party leadership has to decide which candidate is eligible for ticket.â€? He added that the PPP gave him the responsibility to assess position in various constituencies of the district. The district president of PPP and MPA, Javed Akbar Dhiloon, also remarked on the issue. â€œQazi has left his party for us; therefore, I think he should be the partyâ€™s top priority for PP286. But we are bound by the party decision,â€? he said. Dhiloon added that before Makhdoom Ahmedâ€™ entry, the situation was different. â€œIf one can recall, Amir Nawaz Chandia had announced quitting the PML-F and joining the PPP at a huge public gathering on October 12, 2010, where PPPâ€™s Ahmed Saeed Kazmi, Makhdoom Shahab, Qayyum Jatoi, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, Javed Warraich and many other leaders were present on the stage.â€? â€œI deserve the party ticket
as I have a huge vote bank of my family. If it not so, then I can contest the election against the PPPâ€™s candidate. But Makhdoom Shahabâ€™s decision will be final,â€? Amir Chandia said, when asked for his comments. Interestingly, the new comer Qazi is not ready to contest the elections with the combination of Kazmi from NA-192. â€œIf the PPP issues the ticket to Hamid Saeed Kazmi instead of Khawaja Qutab Fareed, then I will refuse to contest the election with a PPP ticket,â€? he said. He added that Col (r) Naveed Sajid and Ghazanfar Langah, the PPP candidates for PP-285 and PP-287, were also hesitant to contest elections along with Kazmi. He claimed that Makhdoom Shahab had no vote bank in the said constituency and, therefore, he had no fear if he supported Chandia. On the other hand, Kazmi favours Chandia.â€? How can I support Qazi as he has been against me with Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood? Chandia helped us in crucial times and the party ticket must be awarded to him.â€? According to political pundits, the PPP can lose its vote bank if the cold war does come not come to an end at the earliest. Makhdoom Ahmed is seeking party tickets for his group, while Kazmi and Shahab also eye the same for their candidates.
HYDERABAD: Activists of Save Sindh Committee dancing to the drum beat to celebrate the reversion of Sindh Peopleâ€™s Local Government Ordinance 2012 at a rally. The Sindhi nationalists, PML-F and other parties had been protesting against the dual LG system in the province, while the PPP-led government reverted the decision after the MQM left the ruling alliance. INP
Hundreds aspire for ANP ticket
Four killed in rain-related incidents
OUR STAFF REPORTER
The Awami National Party (ANP) has received hundreds of applications from prospective candidates for the forthcoming national and provincial assembliesâ€™ elections in the last five days. Party sources said they had so far received 394 applications for the party ticket including 334 for the provincial assembly and 58 for the National Assembly seats. The said the party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan would contest from NA-7 while Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti from NA9 and PK-23. Haji Ghulam Bilour would be a candidate of the party from NA-1 and the son of former senior minister Bashir Bilour, Haroon Bilour, would be contesting from PK-3. INP
Two minor girls were killed and their other relatives received injuries when the roof of a room caved in due to heavy downpour on Wednesday in the Surkamar area of Jamrud, a subdivision of Khyber agency, official and local sources said. Sources said a tribesman, Ashraf Khan, was sitting in a room of his house along with his family members when at time of incident, after which they were buried under debris. His two daughters, Shazia, 10, and Paaleda, 11, were killed while Ashraf, his father Said Ahmad and son Abdullah sustained minor injuries. The locals rushed to the scĂ¨ne, recovered the dead and wounded, and shifted them to a hospital in Jamrud. Agencies add: A man died and two others were wounded when gushing rainwater in a stream swept away a
Cash seized in police arms scam PESHAWAR: The National Accountability
MULTAN: A farmer guarding her goats and sheep grazing in the field. Livestock is one of the main sources of income for many people in rural areas of the country. INP
vehicle on Wednesday. According to details, a Tank-bound car coming from Dera Ismail Khan with three persons on board overturned while passing through a flooded stream due to heavy rain in the Neeli Kach area near Gomal Zam Dam. As a result, one of them died on the spot while the local people and rescue personnel managed to save others with minor injuries. An official of Revenue Department was killed when lightning struck him in Koro Khan, a village located two kilometers south of Tank. Haji Haibat Khan was present in his house when thunderbolt struck him during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday leaving him dead on the spot. Meanwhile, Tank and the surrounding areas remained in the grip of torrential rain. 30 hours of consecutive rain played havoc across the district. Traffic was suspended on Tank-Wana, Tankâ€“Dera and TankPeshawar roads.
Bureau (NAB) officials on Wednesday raided the house of the arrested Budget Officer Javed Khan of the Central Police Office and seized Rs 41.22 million along with weapons of various bores. According to the official sources, some serving and retired police officers were likely to face the music in the weapon purchase scam as some vital information was revealed by the arrested accused during the investigation. The NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Media Cell spokesman Col Waheedullah told a private TV channel that NAB SP Inayat Khan along with the local police and other officers raided the house of Javed Khan and recovered Rs 41.22 million and added that, â€œKalashnikov and some pistols have been seized during the raid.â€? He said that Javed and contractor Arshad Majeed had revealed further information during
interrogation and names of many other serving and retired police officers were also included in the interrogation. The two were arrested by NAB last week in Rs7 billion weapons purchase case for their alleged misappropriation in the deal. â€œI would say the information extracted from the accused have revealed that both serving and some retired police officers also have a role in the weapon purchase scam and huge loss has been inflicted on the national exchequer but at this stage we are probing more before making any arrests,â€? Col Waheedullah said. â€œI canâ€™t name the officers at this stage but itâ€™s likely we shall be making more arrests soon, and there are names of some high ranking officers as well, but we have to make it certain that these officers, officials are involved before taking them to task,â€? he replied to another query. AGENCIES
Azad Kashmir prime minister fights to stay in office Barrister Sultan pressing hard to ensure Majeed is removed March 6 rally in Muzaffarabad can prove a game changer RA KHAN
MIRPUR (AJK): The PPP government
in Azad Kashmir is under threat from both the opposition and the party leadership. On one hand, it is facing a strong criticism by the opposition parties on the assembly floor, while on the other Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry has assured the PPP Pakistan leadership that it would be impossible for PPP to survive in Azad Kashmir if the incumbent government continues under Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed. The AJK premier, who has laid foundation of three medical colleges in Azad Kashmir besides many roads and other developments projects, is fast losing his credibility, while ex-PM
Barrister Sultan is regaining popularity among the people. In this connection, Barristerâ€™s meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore is being considered a turning point in political arena. No harsh words for the sitting PM by the Barrister and calling him a loser besides signals about a good news to people at March 6 rally are clearly indicating that the day can bring about a change in the office. Previously, the last government of Muslim Conference (MC) changed through an in-house exercise; however, former PM Mumtaz Hussain Rathore of PPP had dissolved the Legislative Assembly rather than an in-house change. Itâ€™s also possible that Chaudhry Majeed can repeat the Rathore formula to get rid of the present situation and
AJK PM Chaudhry Abdul Majeed not allowing any other party candidate to become the PM by replacing him. Barrister Sultan enjoys close relation with Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Minister Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khursheed Shah and Chaudhry Shujaat, and these ties will help him to be the next prime minister in Azad Kashmir. The upcoming elections in
Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry Pakistan are also under discussion. As many among the PMLN leadership believes that after the caretaker setup in Pakistan, they will bring a resolution against the PPP government in Azad Kashmir; hence, they have planned to remove the AJK government by diverting the attention of PPP from elections in Pakistan. However, the government leaders are
refuting the chances of Barrister Sultan to be PM as they believe that Abdul Majeed is in the good books of President Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur and so as Chaudhry Yaseen, who is very close to the AJK premier and also a member of Central Executive Committee of PPP. Moreover, his opinion is more worthy than any other PPP leader. Barrister Sultan claims that he has the support of eight assembly members, while 16 ministers have also launched complaints against Majeed in the centre and are strongly demanding the change of govt. If in-house change takes place, than the old and senior workers of PPP will be alive again as they have left practical politics due to Majeed. Exticket holder from Muzaffarabad
Khawaja Farooq had several meetings with Barrister Sultan and has complained to him several times about his area and the premierâ€™s behaviour. The March 6 rally in Muzaffarabad is planned with complete cooperation of Khawaja Farooq and think-tanks believe that the Barrister will announce his future plan on the occasion. The gathering will be of great importance even if it does not result in change of guards, as the rally will definitely bring a no-confidence movement and strikes across Azad Kashmir press removal of Majeed. But one will have to see how many ministers will take part in the rally and what will be their future if the public meeting and the movement prove a failure.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
THE SPOKESMAN Chief Editor: Huma Ali Executive Editor: Atif Mateen Resident Editor: Saeed Minhas Consulting Editors: Jalees Hazir Samina Choonara Block 11, G-6/1, Aabpara, Islamabad Telephone: 051 260 7153-4 Fax: 051 260 7498 www.thespokesman.pk email@example.com
Writing off loans to benefit the rich The government, SBP, other banks and technocrats believe that the written-off loans may be treated as past and closed transactions. Nobody has been tried and convicted MOHAMMAD JAMIL
Taming the US Senator Chuck Hagel, US President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defence, in a speech at the Cameron University in Oklahoma in 2011 had said: ‘India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan from across the border in Afghanistan… India took advantage of tensions between Kabul and Islamabad for fomenting troubles in the areas that border Afghanistan.’ One wonders as to why the video of his speech reappeared on a website of the Washington Free Beach only a day before the confirmation vote in the US Senate for Hagel. Could it be the objective of the neocons to provide ammunition to his opponents trying to block his nomination? Or is there a belated realisation on part of the US that the CIA has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing for Pakistan? It was cloning in Afghanistan the likes of Naek Mohammad, Abdullah Mehsud, Baitullah Mehsud, providing these murderous thugs loads of cash and weapons, and sending them across the border to fight with our military and wreak havoc on the Sate of Pakistan. Last year, the Oversight and Investigations Sub-committee of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing on Balochistan chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. A week later, Congressman Rohrabacher introduced a resolution ‘expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Balochistan, currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country’. For the last four years, there has been a propaganda blitz against Pakistan in international media, and efforts were made not only to demonise Pakistan’s military and nukes but also to destabilise Pakistan. The common perception is that whatever India did to harm Pakistan from Afghanistan’s soil was with the connivance of the US. In fact, the US had prepared an exit strategy from Afghanistan with the help of India, and had envisaged a bigger role for it after withdrawal of NATO forces. It seems the US has realised that a smooth exit from Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan’s cooperation. India has been desperately trying to bring Afghanistan under its economic and political control. Under the cover of reconstruction in provinces of Afghanistan bordering Pakistan, Indian consulates had been carrying out intelligence operations, influencing the tribes along Pak-Afghan border. Since the US and its allies are occupying Afghanistan, India could not have done it without the blessings of the US. Maliks of Pakistani tribes were persuaded through middlemen and taken to Kabul for meetings with high ranking RAW officials. For most of that time, Pakistan took all the insult and the onslaught lying down. Ever since Pakistan put its foot down after the attack on Salala checkposts and stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan, there seems to be a change of heart and mind. It is important to draw the line with the US. Pakistan should resolutely negotiate with its duplicitous ally on all issues, including a complete end to drone attacks. Only then can the Pakistan government justify to its people the normalisation of relations with the US.
A commission constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe written-off bank loans during the period 1971 to 2009, has stated in its report that bank loans amounting to Rs 87 billion were written off during the period, including Rs 84.621 billion from 1992 to 2009 and Rs 2.3 billion from 1971 to 1991. The report also said that bankers verbally admitted that in the case of nationalised commercial banks, influential groups used their political clout to get the loans sanctioned or written off. This is just the tip of the iceberg. An investigative report published by The Spokesman has revealed that loan sharks have actually gobbled up over one trillion rupees in loans during the last four decades. However, contradictory statements and figures quoted by the government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in this regard have created confusion. On 8 September 2012 the government had informed the National Assembly that during the past four years public and private banks and development finance institutions (DFIs) had written off loans amounting to Rs 112.305 billion. In 2011, a national English daily had reported that apart from Rs 259 billion in written-off loans since 1971, the accumulated amount of nonperforming loans has surged as well. An SBP report compiled for the Public Accounts Committee showed that 56,336 cases of non-performing loans worth Rs 215 billion were still pending in courts. Thus, according to conservative estimates, such loans may aggregate to Rs 475 billion. However, if “missing” cases are factored in and the statistics are scrutinised more closely, the amount of total written off loans reaches Rs 1 trillion. The unfortunate part is that the government, SBP, other banks and technocrats believe that the written-off loans may be treated as past and closed transactions. In western countries and emerging economies, entrepreneurs are not given loans without proper evaluation of assets that are pledged with the banks. One would not rule out
irregularities in banks in developed economies, but they pale before the fraudulent practices in Pakistan. Getting the loans written off is one aspect of the corruption which is rampant in the country. Large scale income tax evasion has reduced the income tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan to 9 percent, which is the lowest in the world. Pakistan’s GDP or national income is estimated at $240 billion, approximately Rs 24,000 billion, and tax revenue is less than Rs 2,200 billion. If one goes through the list of written off loans, it is obvious that even big groups like Dawood and Saigols have benefited from this malaise. If one company of a big group makes losses or becomes unviable due to manipulation of accounts, it approaches the bank for waiving the
claimed that it had recovered a part of the plundered money, yet most culprits either escaped or were honorably acquitted by the courts due to lacunae in prosecution and investigation, lack of evidence or witnesses. From 1947 to 1958, during the eras of first seven prime ministers, the incidence of corruption was minimal. Even during the Ayub and Bhutto eras corruption remained within manageable limits. But during the Zia era, as a result of the Afghan war, American dollars flooded the market. Since then corruption has broken all previous records, and at least four elected governments were sent packing on the charges of corruption or security risk from 1988 to 1999. In the past, half-hearted efforts were made to reduce the incidence of corruption. During the Ayub era, a
The bureaucracy had played an ignominious role by advising the government not to act against rich beneficiaries of written off loans interest and even the principal amount. Corrupt politicians-cumbusinessmen often get the loans rescheduled, thus they neither become defaulters nor do their names appear in the list of people with written off loans. Furthermore, it is difficult to prove that their businesses suffered genuine losses. Bank officials do not make the requisite effort to detect manipulation of accounts. Some industrialists in collusion with politicians take loans with the intention of not paying them back. In fact, corruption has deeply permeated every strata of our society, and scandals regarding corruption, misappropriation, plundering of billions from banks and other federal, provincial and semi-government departments abound. According to last year’s Transparency International Pakistan’s report, Pakistan lost more than Rs 8.5 trillion or $94 billion in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during the last four years of the PPP government. Though the National Accountability Bureau
number of politicians were barred from participating in the elections under EBDO on charges of corruption, but they were never tried and convicted. During Yahya Khan’s martial law, 303 civil servants and government functionaries were summarily dismissed but were not prosecuted. During the Bhutto era, services of around 1200 government employees were terminated without holding any trial against them with the result that those involved in serious cases of corruption were let off the hook. Another package for the corrupt was offered under General Pervez Musharraf’s watch. The Central Board of Revenue had then announced a Tax Amnesty Scheme to legalise hidden assets and black money by charging 10 percent of the undisclosed income earned on or before 30 June 1999. One would not find such examples of rewarding tax evaders and those who plundered the national exchequer anywhere in the world. In other words, nobody tried to set an example to deter others from
pursuing corrupt practices. In 1996 when the PPP government was at the helm, Transparency International had declared Pakistan as the second-most corrupt country in the world where corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, black marketers, smugglers, tax evaders and drug mafia were ‘rewarded’ through general amnesty schemes or through opportunities to whiten their black money. In this connection, the bureaucracy had played an ignominious role by misguiding the government and advising it not to take tough measures, suggesting that it would lead to the flight of capital and economic collapse. The problem is that those who have amassed wealth through illegal means are the ones who can afford the luxury of contesting elections. Such elements first invest to reach the corridors of power with a view to increasing their wealth, and then they want to be reelected to protect that ill-gotten wealth. But there is a need to take steps to stop these unethical and corrupt practices, and to block the corrupt elements’ entry into the corridors of power. Unfortunately, corruption has deprived the national exchequer of its revenues and together with the mismanagement of public sector enterprises, including Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Airlines and Pakistan Railways, it is causing a loss of Rs 500 billion every year. It is also responsible for having brought the country to the brink of economic disaster. In 1998, late Dr Mehboob-ul-Haq had estimated tax-evasion to the tune of Rs 100 billion through manipulation of accounts, in addition to the tax evasion of around Rs 100 billion by the parallel or informal economy. But now the estimated loss to the exchequer is estimated at Rs 2,000 billion, as 50 percent of the economy is informal. The tiny elite, comprising jagirdars, industrial robber barons, bureaucracy and rapacious politicians have kept complete control over the state, its resources and all levers of power. They neither had the vision nor the will to build a modern and egalitarian society, although Pakistan had all the resources and ingredients to make Pakistan a welfare state. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST
Covert wars against Pakistan There is international proof to back the claim that there are Indian linkages with insurgents operating in Balochistan. In the prime minister’s meeting at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, the Indian Prime Minister agreed to look into the matter Indian prime minister at the time, and daughter of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, declared proudly at the time Bangladesh was formed that we have thrown The last eleven years and operations like the the two-nation theory into the Indian Ocean. one in Abottabad and Salala have now Rahul Gandhi, the son of Congress president convinced people that other countries are here Sonia Gandhi, recently addressed a meeting at to fulfill their own hidden agendas. Cross Bareli, in which he congratulated his border attacks are another part of this foreign grandmother, Indira Gandhi, for dismembering agenda, with a number of countries allied in Pakistan in 1971. His statement seconds the cornering Pakistan. stance that the dismemberment of Pakistan After 9/11, Pakistan had to engage its forces along the western border which had historically would never have taken place if India had not been one of its safest flanks. Now, in 2013, India sent its troops into East Pakistan. India is using its assets inside Pakistan for has violated the ceasefire at the line of control by subversive activities because they know that attacking a Pakistani post. So the conspiracies Pakistan is an atomic power and because are obvious and the agenda is obvious too. conventional war is no longer an option. The Pakistan has to make its way carefully within role of Indian consulates in Afghanistan is the given circumstances and the very narrow obvious from Christine Fair’s report of RAND margins it is left with for maneuvering. Corporation, in which she writes: ‘I think it Despite so many years of neighbourly would be a mistake to completely disregard existence, India continues to disrespect the Pakistan’s regional perceptions due to doubts existence of Pakistan. In 1947, Indian leaders about Indian competence in executing covert had predicted that Pakistan would not last operations. That misses the point entirely. And I beyond a couple of years and the time would think it is unfair to dismiss the notion that come when Pakistan would request for a reunification. After military engagement in 1965 Pakistan’s apprehensions about Afghanistan stem in part from its security competition with and then in 1971, India backed off from active India. Having visited the Indian mission in aggression but continued launching Zahedan, Iran, I can assure they are not issuing conspiracies to destabilise this country. visas as the main activity. Moreover, India has The Indians consider it their great victory to run operations from its mission in Mazar have assisted in the birth of Bangladesh. The
EDITOR’S MAIL BOX Feedback from the web
Malik Riaz-the real power broker For one, Malik Riaz is in no conflict with DHA in regards to DHA Valley and the alleged Rs. 60 billion plus that DHA has handed over to him. Malik Riaz effectively bailed DHA Islamabad
out which was defaulting on its debt on AWT, which in turn meant that AWT was not in a position to meet its capital requirements. Then again the State Bank of Pakistan or SECP are not going to shut down a military bank. Malik Riaz has various joint ventures with DHA, including DHA Sector F being developed in Bahria Town and joint marketing of DHA and Bahria Town products. As you said, our media is sold to the highest bidder and no one wants to say no to all the ad money Bahria Town has to offer. Perhaps the only exception is the DAWN which consistently runs negative news related to MR and Bahria Town. But the more essential problem is that people like him are idolised by our upper and middle classes, who really believe the PR hype he has created. His corruption is acceptable to our monied elite. It’s only the corruption that poor people are involved in that sparks outrage. NADIR NADIRNWO@GMAIL.COM
(through which it supported the northern alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has re-opened in Jalalabad and Kandhar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan,’ she writes. Christine Fair goes on to comment on the Indian role in fomenting instability in Pakistan by improving relations with Pakistan’s neighbours. It also suggests that the territorial dispute over Kashmir remains a thorn in its side. She writes, ‘Kabul has encouraged India to engage in proactive activities such as using the Border Roads Organization to build sensitive parts of the Ring Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security. It is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar - across from Bajaur. Kabul’s motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India’s interest in engaging in them. Even if by some act of miraculous diplomacy the territorial issues were to be resolved, Pakistan would remain in an insecure state. Given the realities of the subcontinent (e.g., India’s rise and its more effective foreign relations with all of Pakistan’s near and far neighbours), these fears are bound to grow, not lessen .This suggests that without some means of compelling Pakistan to abandon its
The con and Kaptaan This is a very valid analysis, one thing we all know the party's internal leg pulling and strife has been its undoing but what exactly is the scenario and who is playing what and who needs to go. Could anyone shed any light on this? GHAZANFAR ALI GHAZALI_1977@YAHOO.COM
Security for the judges The best evidence would come and attitudes would alter if the security provided to judges is removed. It is from the comfort of the chambers and the state furnished, maintained and secure houses that they talk bravely. Their sympathy with terrorists and insensitivity towards the unprotected citizens smells of a rat. A J KHAN AJK@YAHOO.COM
reliance upon militancy, it will become ever more interested in using it - and the militants will likely continue to proliferate beyond Pakistan’s control.’ Instead of such a sharp focus on destabilising Pakistan, perhaps the Indian government would do better to worry about insurrectionary movements within its own borders. India is speedily heading towards internal destabilisation. A number of separatist movements in India are picking up pace and are becoming more incendiary. Besides the Kashmir and Khalistan movement, there is visible unrest in Tamil Nadu, and now Assam is also demanding a sovereign status. People of Mizoram are increasingly voicing their dissent from the hegemony of the State. So India would do well to attend to its own problems of unrest due to injustice felt by many communities, Muslim, Sikh and others subversive activities inside Pakistan. Instead of attending to its own issues of poverty and population explosion, and the rising disaffection of different sub-nationalities, it has a very active and negative foreign policy agenda. There is international proof to back the claim that there are Indian linkages with insurgents operating in Balochistan. So much so that in the prime minister’s meeting at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, the Indian Prime Minister agreed to look into the matter. A joint communiqué, released
Sensitivities of sectarianism Blatant attacks on shrines in Sindh showcase a very repugnant social trend in the sufis’ land. A few extreme developments in the past 12 months or so like the migration of Hindus (primarily from upper Sindh), forced conversion of Hindu girls and this new wave of attacks on shrines must have disturbed the forces of Sindhi nationalism. Sindh, since the “Bazm-e-Sufia-e-Sindh” days created by GM Syed, has been a locus of tolerant social attitudes and behaviours against establishment’s ideological onslaught. An opportunist political leadership of Muslim League following the death of Quaid-eAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah sided with them who openly opposed Pakistan’s formation and ensuring that no choice is left for
after the Gilani-Singh meeting, reflected information-sharing because it included a reference to Balochistan and the information available to Pakistan; a reiteration of the Indian commitment to a stable and democratic Pakistan; and an agreement on sharing realtime credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats. India is not involved in the destabilization of Balochistan on its own but enjoys the full support of the United States government in that project. With Pakistan’s new overtures to its neighbouring countries such as China and Iran, the US government is perturbed by China’s presence in Balochistan to develop the Gawadar Port. Iran is also playing its role, according to its capability and capacity. Unfortunately, this leaves Balochistan at the hub of international conspiracies. It is for the leaders of Pakistan to handle this time of trouble with great wisdom and caution since it is the largest and most underdeveloped province of Pakistan that is now suffering from terrorism. These conspiracies have to be fought also at the level of public discourse to avoid the designs of the enemies of Pakistan that would lead it toward dismemberment, like in 1971.
leaning forces of cultural nationalism but to hit back. The Bazm formation was one such effort. The real purpose was to safeguard the diversity of Sindhi society which had evolved through interaction between Muslim mystics and local Hindu rituals. The robust bond of Sindhi language has kept the diverse population united in terms of religion and ethnic backgrounds and served the purpose of a cultural chain, from Thatta to Jacobabad and Shikarpur. The right wing establishment reframed its stratagem and penetrated the province in the 1980s via religious seminaries. Riots against Ahmadis in upper Sindh in the early years of 80s was an early manifestation of policy of imposing Islamisation. Ultra right ideology motivated produce of seminaries are now being aggressive against Sufi symbols in Sindh and jumping over the last
THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE COLUMNIST ON SECURITY AND STRATEGIC ISSUES BASED IN RAWALPINDI
hurdle to finally Islamise Pakistan. Institutional radicalisation via religious seminaries across the country is the most effective tool that has been utilised by extremists since Afghan jihad days. Petty interests of politicians in all significant political parties are taking them ever closer to the forces of insanity, throughout the country including Sindh. So-called secular harbingers are now openly shaking hands and doing under hand deals with anarchists to keep their seats in next parliament. The situation is a massive challenge to the Sindhi nationalism forces in decades where the socio-economic balance of the entire province of Sindh is at stake. SAAD BALOCH ISLAMABAD Please email your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to our address in Islamabad.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Not learning to live together The quickest way to throw a country into disorder is by creating hatred between sects and social classes
MUSTAPHA SALEEM Pakistan is home to Muslims of many sects who have been living together peacefully for many centuries and in essence share similar beliefs. They believe in one God and proclaim Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as his messenger. And so it begs the question, why are they constantly at each other’s throats? Sectarian strife has been at the heart of our nation for the past few decades. While a majority of attacks have been designed to target the Shia, we still enjoy a stable relationship with our predominantly Shia neighbour to the west, Iran. Ironically, Iran was the first nation to formally recognise Pakistan after its establishment in 1947. We are also each other’s chief economic partners and military allies. The IPGP (IranPakistan Gas Pipeline) project is another sign of continued mutual fiscal collaboration between the two countries. This relationship proves the fact that Pakistanis as a whole, especially our government institutions, have no bad blood with Shia Muslims. Sidelining the Shia defies all logic. When Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was striving for a separate state he was not fighting for a Muslim-only state. His primary focus was the creation of a state where not only Muslims of a particular sect but all minorities, irrespective of race or religion, would be treated the same. There is a reason why the Pakistani flag has a white segment in it. It is not exactly clear when we decided to do away with Jinnah’s ideology, but there is no doubt about the ensuing bloodshed and chaos. When did we decide to sideline “The Father of the Nation?” and waiver his words to embark on a tangent from his vision? The answer to the questions is short and simple. We did not. The only major ally we share a border with other than Iran is China. We have vast swathes of unmanned land on our borders which makes monitoring illegal immigrants impossible. This scenario cultivates a hotbed for espionage services from our antagonistic neighbours. Countries that wish us harm are constantly using this opportunity to litter Pakistan with intelligence service personnel. Their goal is to wreak havoc and create sectarian divide thorough the disintegration of Pakistan. These foreign countries along with their collaborators know that they cannot harm Pakistan from the outside due to the nuclear deterrent. Therefore, they have chosen to poison our country from the inside. The ISI has more often than not captured foreign agents operating in remote parts of Pakistan. More often than not they have been operating under false aliases of “construction workers”, “aid workers” and my personal favourite, because it is
especially ridiculous, “tourists.” There is a plethora of reasons why one should visit Pakistan, but given how much of a “no go” zone our country has become, it is hard to believe we have tourists pouring in. These foreign insurgents have played an integral role in destabilising Pakistan. The quickest way to throw a country into disorder is by creating hatred between sects and social classes. This gives birth to their disconnection from ground realities, civil war and anarchy. Next you can launch an aerial campaign and invade the country to secure weapons of mass destruction to save the masses. We have seen this scenario being played out in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The last few attacks against Shias in Pakistan were courtesy bombings, and we’ve also witnessed brutal executions. The most recent case was of Dr. Syed Ali Haider and his son who were killed in a drive when armed terrorists opened fire on their car. The postmortem report showed that Dr. Ali suffered six gunshot wounds to the head and his son took one bullet in his head. These attacks shock us but the truth is we have become accustomed to sectarian violence. Although both local and international media condemned this as a brutal and radical attack, our words cannot and will not bring back a wife’s husband and son and a son’s father and brother. The lives of Dr. Ali’s family have been altered forever. We must get to the root of such violence and then cut off the head of the snake. We should increase our efforts to arrest the perpetrators behind the aggression but more importantly, we must bolster the investigation process to uncover the identity of the organisations sponsoring these attacks. Only then will the brutality come to a halt. How these events are unfolding is crystal clear. As has been the custom, hostile nations aiming to break the very bond that holds Pakistan together as one nation, are behind this pandemonium. They have meticulously planned each step as the “cluster bomb” programmes run on autopilot. They have mastered the art of creating a tsunami of arms, funds and militias of skilled assassins and are pouring them into “level red” countries. They send death squads into countries where they want to eventually set up puppet regimes to synchronise the foreign policy in their favour. There are a few prerequisites a country like Pakistan needs to fulfill to end these atrocities. We need to break up with the IMF to eliminate foreign influence on our public policy and either drastically curb or purge the World Bank funding altogether. If these precautions are not taken we will be stuck in an infinite loop of circular debt, followed by an Afghanistan/ Iraq/ Libya style picture being painted in front of our eyes. Let’s say no to sectarian violence but we must also go to its root and say no to the policy framework which creates a state of affairs for this volcano of carnage to erupt. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCER
Genesis of sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan The connivance of those in power on some occasions and their inaction otherwise, have led to a situation where the region has been polarised on sectarian lines. A look at how things were allowed to degenerate from 1972 onwards ISRAR AHSAN
from Khyber Puktunkhwa and the local Sunni militants to form a lashkar for a massive attack on the This is the second part of an article Shia to teach them a lesson and carried yesterday Healing the silence them for good. Over a Sectarian Divide that reviewed hundred people were killed in this sectarian clashes in Gilgit Baltistan. mostly one-sided raid. The previous article looked at how For three days, the lashkar killed the youth of the area, the elders, and and looted with impunity, despite the women could become part of peace committees comprising both Shia and presence of the paramilitary frontier constabulary. On the fifth day, a huge Sunni. This article reviews the historical evolution of how differences contingent of 80,000 extremists was sent by General Ziaul Haq’s developed between the two government to annihilate the Shia communities and the role of the villages in Jalalabad, Bonji, Darot, authorities. Jaglot, Padi and Minawar. The villages It was 1972 when the first clashes were razed to the ground with even were reported between Shia and Sunni in Gilgit city, transforming this the cattle and other animals killed. The anti-Shia militants had peaceful region into a bloody battlefield. This was at the instance of travelled a long way from Mansehra to Gilgit and the government did not 10 Muharram when some Sunni stop them, blaming the carnage on groups objected to the concluding abstract enemies like Indian and jaloos on the day of martyrdom of American intelligence agencies. The Imam Hussain, which is an occasion tribal mujahedeen could not have of great reverence for both reached this remote place without communities. Instead of condemning the violence, someone’s blessing. The frontier Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto not only constabulary had several check-posts along the Swat-Bhisham road but condoned the demands of the Sunni they did nothing to intercept the but prohibited Shia from taking out raiders. the jaloos. The consequent Shia Since this attack in 1988, there have resentment resulted in firing on the been several riots in the region. procession by the police that injured Members of other sects including the many people, besides resulting in Shia and Ismaili have been unlawful arrests and the destruction slaughtered on the Karakorum of property. Highway, shot in the streets of Gilgit The second major clash took place city, and harassed throughout the in 1988 when anti Shia riots broken region. This is not to suggest that only out in May over the sighting of the the Sunni, or all members of the Ramadan moon. When the Shia in community, have taken to arms. Gilgit celebrated Eid-ul-Fitar the Members of the Shia community have Sunni were still fasting because also killed members of the opposite religious leaders could not reach a sect, with several Ismailis being killed consensus on the sighting of the in the cross fire. moon. The Shia were attacked and In 2005, more violence again this resulted in violent clashes rocked the area with the assassination between the two sects until local of Syed Aga Ziauddin Rizvi, a leaders intervened to restore some prominent Shia prayer leader of calm. After a brief respite that lasted Gilgit’s Imamia Mosque on 8 January nearly four days, the military regime 2005. On 13 January, he succumbed allegedly used people from the to injuries and one of the assailants Afghani and Pakistani Wahabi sect
killed by his bodyguard, Iqbal Hussain, was later identified as a cadre of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The assassination attempt was followed by a violent reaction by the Shia. A large number of public and private properties were set on fire and a number of officials were attacked. An Ismaili district forest officer, Tagoon Nabi, and six others were burned alive in his house. The Sunni director of the health department, Dr. Sher Wali, was also killed. More than a dozen people were killed and an unspecified number were injured before troops were called in to restore law and order and impose curfew in the area. The death of the injured Aga Ziauddin Rizvi led to a fresh wave of sectarian violence within a week. In fact, the area continued to simmer for four weeks after the assassination and curfew remained in place for one month in Gilgit and Skardu. The Karakorum Highway was blocked, thus obstructing the movement of people and goods. Schools and colleges remained closed and Gilgit Balitistan’s only university, the Karakorum International University, remained closed for more than 90 days because of the resulting tension. As recent as 2012, 14 people were killed in Gilgit and Chilas. A new wave of sectarian violence was triggered after a hand grenade was thrown at protesters gathered at Ittehad Chowk on the call of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The grenade attack killed two men and injured 35 others, while at least 12 people died and about 48 others were injured in the violence that followed the attack. According to eye-witness accounts, some men on motorcycles attacked protesters at Ittehad Chowk with hand grenades. Amid the firing, local volunteers shifted the injured to hospitals where hundreds of people turned up to donate blood.
After the incident, firing and attacks began in different localities of Gilgit and continued for the entire day. Meanwhile, unknown assailants dragged ten commuters out of a passenger bus in Chilas and shot them at close range, while setting fire to six buses at the Shahra-eKarakoram. The SP Diamer was also shot and injured in a clash with miscreants. The law enforcement agencies failed to control the violence even after curfew was imposed to restore peace in town. Rival sects continued firing at each other, while the authorities warned residents to stay inside their homes or they would be shot dead. According to sources, several people were stranded at various locations due to the curfew and constant firing. In a separate incident, unknown assailants killed a man while he was sitting in the lawn of his house in Majini Mohalla. The ISPR stated that the Army had been summoned to Gilgit to control the law and order situation but eyewitnesses recount that the district administration and law enforcement agencies were nowhere to be seen as fear gripped the entire area. Meanwhile, the Sunni leaders warned of countrywide protests if the authorities failed to arrest the murderers of innocent people. They also demanded that their arrested leaders should be freed within 24 hours. The connivance of those in power on some occasions and their inaction otherwise, have led to a situation where the region has been polarised on sectarian lines. A large majority of people still yearn for a return to sectarian harmony, but without a comprehensive strategy strictly implemented by the authorities, it will remain a distant dream. THE WRITER IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN SKURDU
Working India’s pilgrimage against neo-liberalism VIJAY PRASHAD Early this morning, on the busy bylanes of Zamrudpur (Delhi), I passed a young girl being taken to school on a cycle-rickshaw. In her lap she held fast to her day’s homework. It was a three dimensional representation of “my town”, made with what looked like a cardboard base, with houses of card and papier mache, coloured by pencils and paint. It reminded me of the projects I did when I was her age, the assignment alternatively civic and nationalist: Create a Model Town. Her town, like my own, was scrubbed clean of the anomie of capitalism: houses for citizens here, a factory for workers there, a bank and a town hall, a zoo perhaps or a playground, and, of course, a police station tucked away in the corner. This town is far from our own world, where unemployment is a structural feature and where slums are the main residence of our people; where the agricultural sector sustains high levels of social distress and migration has become the standard way for survival; where social harassment of women and oppressed groups rubs the sheen off the bright landscape. Last week, a hundred million workers in India conducted a General Strike. Eleven trade unions with divergent political traditions and programmes came together to bring out their members for two days (never before in India’s modern history have all the unions joined together, and never has the working-class held a two day strike of this magnitude). They were
Last week, a hundred million workers in India conducted a General Strike. Never before in India’s modern history have all the unions joined together, and never has the working-class held a two-day strike of this magnitude united by a ten-point list of demands, including checks on inflation, creation of a jobs programme and of strengthened protections for trade unions, implementation of equal pay for equal work, and restrictions on contract work and casual work. The Financial Times saw the demand sheet in terms of a fight against inflation. But the real issues are about building working-class power. The powerful response by the people indicates that they are truly angry about price increases of goods to satisfy their bare needs; but what was also clear is that the demands for an end to contract labour, for the right to join unions and the right for women to be paid as much as men would go a long way toward strengthening the bloc of the People against the bloc of Money. The Strike was as much about power, therefore, as survival. The intensity of the strike was not clear in the heart of the cities or in My Town. Industrial areas, ports, coal mines and oil refineries – here the battle-lines were drawn, such that in Ambala (Haryana), a cashier at a bus depot and a trade union leader, Narender Singh was killed when he tried to stop some buses from leaving the depot. From Assam’s Amingaon Bottling Plant to Tamil Nadu’s Kalpakkam
Atomic power project, the machines sat idle as workers clashed with the police. Contract workers refused to enter the Rourkela steel plant in Odhisha and the anganwadi (day care) workers in Uttar Pradesh refused their charges. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had begged the unions to call off the strike to no avail. Trade union leader Gurudas Dasgupta pointed out that the cabinet ministers deputed to speak to the unions did not include the Finance Minister – Neo-liberalism’s Myrmidon. Statistics suggest that the unions and the Left have read the tea-leaves correctly. Prices rise daily (food inflation in January rose by almost 11 percent) as the International Labour Organisation reports that structural unemployment is fated to increase across the world, with hundreds of millions off the grid. As the industrial North falls off the fiscal cliff, southern economies geared toward export northward will face a necessary contraction. Left Indian economists, such as Prabhat Patnaik, suggest that the only course for India is for a massive expansion of domestic demand. The current government has neither the ideological disposition nor the class temperament to undertake such a set of policies. The Parliament Budget Session
opened on the second day of the strike with an agenda that will be unable to manage the crisis to the people’s benefit. That is why the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has inaugurated a massive left-wing pilgrimage from the four corners of India toward Delhi. Caravans of the people have already begun their journey from Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, and will soon head out from Kolkata (in the east), Mumbai (in the west) and Jallianwalla Bagh (in the north), to arrive in Delhi by midMarch. This jatha or band of comrades will travel the countryside to rouse the people against the neo-liberal agenda. The demands are six:
1. Right to land and houses. 2. Curb price rise and ensure right to food. 3. Right to education and health. 4. Right to employment. 5. Ensure social justice. 6. End corruption. The agenda is both modest (in appearance) and grand (in its claims against the neo-liberal policy and governance). Twenty years ago, the right-wing party, the BJP, organized a Rath Yatra whose agenda was the destruction of a mosque in Ayodhya and the construction of a
Ram Temple. Its leader, R. K. Advani, bestride a converted Toyota van, masqueraded as a Hindu God on a chariot, as he went across the country. The Yatra fueled hatred and division and summoned the worst of humanity toward riots and death. I was in Seelampur, outside Delhi, when the destruction came in the chariot’s wake in early 1992; the carnage was spectacular, with young men eager to entry History as killers (one gang leader of the BJP, with blood on his sword, was so brave that he sent his mother out during the curfew to get his daily dose of smack). This Jatha comes from the other end of the political spectrum. It promises not hatred but camaraderie, not division but unity. The BJP threatens to revive its yatra. Like the ruling alliance (the Congress and its allies), the BJP and its allies are not capable of taking the bull of economic distress by the horns – they are joined in their fealty to neo-liberal policy. The social pendulum swings toward uncertainty and anguish, into which wades the Left, whose message of class power seeks to convert bitterness to hope. Dekh raftaar-e inquilab, Firaq, “Witness the pace of Revolution, Firaq”; Kitni aahista aur kitna tez, “How slow, and how swift.” (COUNTERPUNCH)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Iran upbeat on nuclear talks, West wary
Italy parties seek way out of election stalemate
ROME: Italy's stunned political
parties searched for a way forward on Tuesday after an inconclusive election gave none of them a parliamentary majority and threatened prolonged instability and a renewal of the European financial crisis. The results, notably the dramatic surge of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comic Beppe Grillo, left the centerleft bloc with a majority in the lower house but without the numbers to control the upper chamber, the Senate. Financial markets fell sharply at the prospect of a stalemate that reawakened memories of the crisis that pushed Italy's borrowing costs toward unsustainably high levels and brought the euro zone to the brink of collapse in 2011. –AGENCIES
Iran gave an upbeat assessment of two days of nuclear talks with world powers that ended on Wednesday, but Western officials said Tehran must start taking concrete steps to ease mounting concerns about its atomic activity. The first negotiations between Iran and six world powers in eight months ended without a breakthrough in Almaty, but they agreed to meet again at expert level in Istanbul next month and resume political discussions in the Kazakh city on April 5. Israel, assumed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, is watching the talks closely. It has
strongly hinted it might attack Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such aim. Iran's foreign minister said he was optimistic an agreement could be reached with the powers - the United States, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and China - on the country's disputed nuclear program. "Very confident," Ali Akbar Salehi told Reuters when asked on the sidelines of a UN conference in Vienna how confident he was of a positive outcome. The six powers offered at the February 26-27 Almaty meeting to lift some sanctions if Iran scaled back
nuclear activity that the West fears could be used to build a bomb. Tehran, which says its program is entirely peaceful, did not agree to do so and the sides did not appear any closer to a deal to resolve a decade-old dispute that could lead to another war in the Middle East if diplomacy fails. But Iran still said the talks were a positive step in which the six powers tried to "get closer to our viewpoint". Western officials had made clear they did not expect major progress in Almaty, aware that the closeness of Iran's presidential election in June is raising political tensions in Tehran and makes significant concessions unlikely. –AGENCIES
New nuclear concern over Iran as satellite images expose plant LONDON: Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper has published
satellite images that it says prove Iran is developing a second path to a nuclear weapons capability by operating a plant that could produce plutonium. The images - commissioned by the Telegraph and taken as recently as February 9 - show steam rising at the heavily-guarded Arak heavy water production plant, about 240 kilometres south-west of the capital Tehran. International inspectors have been barred from the plant since August 2011. The images emerged as the world's leading nations resumed talks with Iran aimed at allaying fears over the country's nuclear ambitions. The new images also show details of the Fordo complex, concealed beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom. –AGENCIES
N Korea blames US for tension in peninsula
Kurdish rebel leader sees Turkey pullout by August
ISTANBUL: Jailed Kurdish militant
leader Abdullah Ocalan is proposing to withdraw his fighters from Turkey by August if Ankara pushes through reforms under a draft plan to end a 28-year insurgency, media reports said on Wednesday. Imprisoned on Imrali island near Istanbul since 1999, Ocalan has since October been discussing a deal with Turkey's government to end a conflict that has killed 40,000 people since his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took up arms in 1984. Under the plan, sent to Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party as well as the PKK leadership, the rebels would begin a formal ceasefire on March 21, the Kurdish New Year, said the Sabah and Star newspapers, which are close to the government. –AGENCIES
John Kerry in Paris, Mali operation high on agenda
PARIS: The newly appointed US
Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris on Wednesday for talks with French officials, with Paris-led military operation in Mali expected to top his agenda. Early in the morning, French President Francois Hollande met the US top diplomat to "talk about the whole range of bilateral and transatlantic relations and the major international issues," the foreign ministry said. Kerry will have lunch with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius to discuss Paris military operation in Mali "on which (Paris and Washington) are cooperating very closely." France wants more US and European help, including the US aerial refueling capability for French planes, analysts said. –AGENCIES
Syrian forces clash with rebels around Aleppo
BEIRUT: Anti-regime activists say
Syrian rebels are clashing with government forces on two sides of the northern city of Aleppo as well as near its historic mosque. The Britainbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least six rebels were killed in fighting Wednesday near a police academy west of the city and clashes also raged on a key supply road leading to the southeast part of the city. The Observatory also says rebel and regime forces controlled different parts of the 12th century Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo's walled city. Syria's largest city, Aleppo, has been a key battleground in the civil war since rebels entered the city in July 2012. –AGENCIES
GENEVA: North Korea accused the
CARACAS: Police beat students as they demonstrate, believing that the government is not telling them the truth about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s health. –WIRE SERVICE
Afghan police officer drugs and kills 17 colleagues GHAZNI:
An Afghan police officer drugged 17 colleagues and shot them dead with the aid of the Taliban, police say, the latest in a series of so-called "insider", or green-on-blue, attacks involving Afghan security forces and the Taliban. The attacks have undermined trust between coalition and Afghan forces who are under mounting pressure to contain the Taliban insurgency before most Nato combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014. The killings, the worst in a string of similar attacks in recent months, occurred at a remote Afghan Local Police (ALP) outpost in the eastern province of Ghazni. "An infiltrated local policeman first drugged all 17 of his comrades, and then called the Taliban and they together shot them all," the chief police detective for Ghazni, Mohammad Hassan, told Reuters. Seven of the dead were new recruits still undergoing training, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. The rapidly growing ALP programme is an American-designed initiative designed to recruit local men as security officers for their area. The force has been beset by allegations of abuse and widespread corruption. In September, Afghanistan suspended the training of new ALP recruits following a spate of insider attacks on foreign soldiers. Musa Khan Akbarzada, a provincial governor, said 11 of those killed in Andar district were members of the governmentbacked ALP group and the remaining six
killed were civilians who were friends of the local police. He said there was a conspiracy of some sort but declined to confirm if there was poison involved. Al Jazeera's Sue Turton, reporting from the capital, Kabul, said some arrests had been made in connection with the incident. "The police deputy chief says they have now captured two men they believe poisoned and killed all those at the checkpoint. They've been arrested and an investigation is ongoing," she said. The Afghan Local Police are a separate squad trained by international forces stationed in remote areas that are underserved by the official Afghan National Security Forces, ANSF. Though the ALP forces are backed by the ministry of interior, Hamid Karzai, Afghan president, has expressed concern that without careful vetting, the programme could end up arming local strongmen or criminals. Local officials said that the attackers had infiltrated the base and poisoned the victims before shooting them. All were shot while they slept at the base, he said. He added that the Ghazni chief of police had been sent to the area to investigate the incident. Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Wednesday, a suicide bomber in Kabul blew himself up after crawling under a bus carrying army personnel, injuring six soldiers and four civilians. –AGENCIES
3 killed, 7 injured in shooting at Swiss factory ZURICH:
Three people, including the suspected assailant, have been killed in a shooting at a factory near the Swiss city of Lucerne, police said on Wednesday. Seven others were injured in the attack which happened just after 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) at a wood processing company in the town of Menznau, west of Lucerne, the police said in a statement. Emergency services were at the scene and the area had been cordoned off. A news conference is due at 2 p.m. (1300 GMT). Last month, a gunman killed three women and injured two men in the Swiss village of Daillon, stirring a debate about Switzerland's firearm laws that allow men to keep guns after their mandatory military service. There is no national gun register but some estimates indicate that at least one in every three of Switzerland's 8 million inhabitants keeps a gun, many stored at home. Citizens outside the military can apply for a permit to purchase up to three weapons from the age of 18 in a country where sharp shooting and hunting are popular sports. –AGENCIES
United States on Wednesday of contributing to an "unpredictable" situation on the divided Korean peninsula and abusing its power in the UN Security Council to impose its "hostile policy" against Pyongyang. North Korea is facing further UN sanctions for its underground nuclear test explosion two weeks ago, its biggest and most powerful to date which prompted warnings from Washington. In December it launched a long-range rocket. "The US is to blame for the situation on the Korean peninsula which is inching close to an unpredictable phase now," So Se Pyong, North Korea's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, told the UNsponsored Conference on Disarmament. "The US should no longer be allowed to seriously infringe upon the independent right of the DPRK to use space for peaceful purposes nor should it be allowed to abuse the UN Security Council as a tool for executing its hostile policy toward the DPRK," he added, using the acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "The third nuclear test was carried out as part of the practical countermeasures for defending the country's sovereignty and security to cope with ruthless hostile behaviors
of the US, which wantonly infringed upon the DPRK's legitimate right to satellite launch for peaceful purposes," So said. Earlier, Ireland's foreign minister Eamon Gilmore, in a speech to the Geneva forum, called on North Korea to cease immediately nuclear testing and ballistic missile activities and re-engage in stalled six-party talks on denuclearization. So, a former ambassador to Iran, retorted: "I'd like to give you objective advice that it will be much better for South Korea to keep quiet, pay more attention to your own concerns of internal affairs and demonstrate at least a little patience instead of making troubles and opening Pandora's boxes". North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. So said he wanted to draw attention to the "intensified US hostile policy" toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which has a right to launch satellites for peaceful purposes. "The US should no longer be allowed to seriously infringe upon the independent right of the DPRK to use space for peaceful purposes nor should it be allowed to abuse the UN Security Council as a tool for executing its hostile policy toward the DPRK," he declared. –AGENCIES
Blaze in illegal Kolkata market kills 19 KOLKATA: A fire swept through a six-storey building housing illegal shops in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Wednesday, killing 19 people who were unable to flee the inferno, local officials said. Hundreds of firefighters gathered at the scene of the blaze at the Surya Sen market near the railway station in the centre of the former colonial capital, where decrepit and poorly maintained buildings are vulnerable to fires. A total of 38 people who were sleeping in the building when the blaze broke out at around 04:00 am (2230 GMT Tuesday) were rescued. Many have been transferred to two city hospitals for treatment. “We found dozens of people lying unconscious with severe burn injuries on the floors of shops and some died of suffocation in their sleep,” state fire services director Gopal Bhattacharya told AFP, adding that 19 corpses had been recovered. The unlicensed shops clustered in the building were selling plastics, papers, and foam products which created acrid black smoke that impeded rescue efforts and led to the high death toll. “The fire has been brought under control,” Bhattacharya told AFP around midday. City mayor Sovan Chatterjee said the building had “illegal construction and the shops inside the building were opened without permission of the civic body”. –AGENCIES
India-Pakistan diplomacy – leash here, lash there A report published in Islamabad’s new daily, The Spokesman, shows how obsessively fraught and fragile relations between the two countries are. Normalisation of ties will remain a distant dream as long as school texts encourage children to ridicule and hate each other and Indo-Pak border guards engage in daily, ritual brinkmanship at the Wagah-Attari border MARIANA BABAR HROUGH his celebrated stories on Partition, the inimitable Saadat Hasan Manto mocked the policies and decisions of nation-makers, imperialists and political grandees by looking at common people. Put them under the lens, and they continue to wink at the various absurdities of their progeny. Toba Tek Singh, a story published in 1955 and which is now emblematic of Manto’s canon, is a literary crystal ball which still throws light on the oddities of India-Pakistan relations. Manto’s story is about Bishan Singh, a Sikh inmate in a Lahore asylum who had to be transferred to India after 1947, in an exchange of ‘mad men’ of the two new nations. Bishan refuses to leave, since his hometown, Toba Tek Singh, lay in Pakistan. In the famous closing section, Bishan lies in no man’s land on the border. “There, behind the barbed wire, was Hindustan. Here, beh¬ind the same kind of barbed wire, was Pakistan.
In between, on that piece of ground that had no name, lay Toba Tek Singh.” Today, nearly 60 years after Manto dreamt up the episode, new ‘lunacy’ at the Attari-Wagah border proves that officialdom continues to be mad in every possible way. Every evening, to the sounding of retreat and lowering of flags of both countries, Pakistan wins the battle of a bizarre pantomime credit that to the size of its personnels’ trousers! Indian soldiers can bang their gates shut with ferocity while sporting warlike grimaces, but when it comes to throwing legs high up in the air—part of a weird, well-synchronised exercise— Pakistanis easily manage to swing their lower limbs above the line of the heads of their Indian counterparts. The reason is simple. Indian soldiers wear western khakis which do not allow them to lift their legs beyond a mod¬erate height, while the roomy dark-grey shalwars of Pakistanis afford an easy, unfettered swing. Unbeknownst to them, they all have bit roles in Manto’s world of absurdities.
The writer must have had a quiet chuckle when someone suggested the Indians should take to wearing dhotis, to rival the shalwar’s flexibility. Someone reacted: “Even the birds would start to blush and stop flying over the border, if that were to happen in the greater national interest.” A report published in Islamabad’s new daily, The Spokesman, shows how obsessively fraught and fragile relations between the two countries are. Travellers embarking on the Samjhauta Express in Lahore and Amritsar have to look around for fourlegged fellow-passengers, as the neighbours are glowering at each other over, literally, dogs. Outlook spoke to journalist Amir Mat¬een, 46, a volunteer writer in The Spo¬kesman. “I was at the border and overheard a strange story narrated by an assistant commissioner of the Indian Customs, Balwinder Singh, at Attari. It seems that a stray dog got on the Samjhauta Express while it was standing at Attari and eventually detrained at Lahore, being largely undetected. After
all, it was only a dog,” says Mateen. But nothing can be taken for granted about anything involving India and Pakistan. The matter was taken seriously in the land of the pure, where ‘sending’ an Indian dog to Pakistan was percieved to be a ‘slight’ by those who guard the country’s frontiers. It was now a matter of national honour. A plan was made for a fitting reprisal. Thus, 50 ‘napak’ (unclean) stray dogs were rounded up and starved for a day before being put on the Samjhauta Express towards Amritsar. All the better, the Pakistani masterminds must have thought, that the hungry 50 could bark their heads off at the Indians on arrival. “We have it from confirmed sources that it was discussed at ‘very serious’ levels in Lahore and Islamabad, even Rawalpindi,” says Mateen. Balwinder Singh, says Mateen, has confirmed the episode of a dog crossing Attari. “It was the sweet will of the dog, who perhaps wanted to check the veracity of elders who rave about Lahore all their
lives. This has nothing to do with the Indian foreign policy,” adds Singh, who has reported the affair to his higher-ups. How will India react, now that 50 dogs from Lahore have landed up at Amritsar? Will customs authorities seek Maneka Gandhi’s help to round up the Pakistani ‘strays’, given her legendary love for dogs? Or would India, imitating the horrors of Partition ‘train killings’ return the bodies of the culled dogs in the next train to Lahore? Would it send double the number? Kishwar Naheed, one of Pakistan’s literary celebrities, shakes her head resignedly. “I am really not surprised to hear this tale of dogs from both countries and how it is being seen as a slight to national pride. After all, the two countries were born on the basis of ‘hate’, and this plays a large role in the lives of both nations. Have you seen how hate infiltrates elementary textbooks that students on both sides study at a very early age?” she asks. Yet, Toba Tek Singhs exist on both
sides, not least among Indians living in Pakistan. In fact, ‘nuttiness’ leads many of them to develop an inordinate love for Pakistani cats. Outlook can vouch for at least two Indians who have had two dozen pet cats at a time. Bureaucratic oddity ensues if an Indian wants to take home a Pakistani cat. “There is no protocol for exchange of pets between India and Pakistan. I had to approach the foreign office once when an Indian friend wanted to take home a Pakistani cat. A kind official told me that it was better not to approach him officially, as there was no standing ‘cat protocol’, but to smuggle it across with someone going to India. With great difficulty I found someone and sent a Paki cat across,” recalls Mateen. In a world where Manto is relevant as ever, be prepared to see the Pakistani foreign office and India’s South Block having their hands full with fur, dog biscuit crumbs and what not. Pakistan awaits the next Samjhauta Express from Amritsar with bated breath. (Outlook India)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Gold 10 Gms
Kibor 6 months 9.15%-9.40%
T Bills6 months 9.16%
Urea/Bag Rs. 1704
Furnace oil 76,188/MT
Profile Textile exporters hail drawback tax funds, demand full payments
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung ‒ committed to a progressive Pakistan
FAISALABAD: Pakistan Textile
Exporters Association (PTEA) have hailed the release of Rs. 2 billion funds for Drawbacks on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL), Export Financing Scheme and markup rates schemes and incentives, announced in Textile Policy (2009-14) and termed it a positive step towards export promotion. In a press statement here Wednesdaym, Asghar Ali, chairman and Muhammad Asif, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association welcomed the Government’s decision and demanded more funds for payment of DLTL pending claims. They said that different schemes under the Textile Policy including Textile Investment Support Fund, drawback of local taxes, refund of past Research and Development (R&D) claims and Export Financing Scheme were initiated in 2009 to boost textile exports. Government had announced DLTL Scheme under the first ever five year Textile, setting USD 25 billion exports target in 5 years. –INP
ISLAMABAD: Queues of vehicles line up to refill CNG cylinders at Islamabad Highway. —ONLINE
Pakistan yet to ship wheat from barter deal with Iran
ADB delegation monitors rice varieties
ISLAMABAD: A four-member
delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) is on Pakistan’s visit from February 26 to March 05. Head of the mission, Lourdes Adriano called on Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), to discuss new basmati rice varieties resistant to BLB and tolerant to flooding. During the meeting, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said that the visit of consultative mission is pre-requisite as it would provide an opportunity to consult policy makers, scientists of research organizations and other stakeholders, adding that it would identify key challenges and opportunities for basmati rice value chain development in Pakistan. Consultation with the members of ADB would enhance the use of innovative technologies for Research and Development Technical Assistant program, he added. –AGENCIES
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is yet to ship any wheat
to Iran from a 1-million tonne barter deal agreed last August due to government disagreements, an executive from Pakistani grain exporter Seatrade Group said. International and local trade sources said progress on the deal could be slowed further by Iran's finding ways to work around sanctions with food purchases and looming elections in Pakistan. A first shipment of 100,000 tonnes was supposed to be delivered to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in mid-Feburary, said the executive who declined to be named. "The 100,000 tonnes is still in the pipeline, nothing has been shipped...a government-to-government issue that needs to be resolved," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. He declined to give further details on what the dispute concerned, however industry sources told Reuters that it might involve finance disruptions from Iran's side. Iranian wheat imports are usually handled by the private sector and government, but in recent months the state has taken a bigger hand in purchases as trade finance has been tightened due to western sanctions aimed at Iran's disputed nuclear programme. The executive said Iranian inspectors had been to Pakistan this month to check the grain, which they say did not match
Energy workshop for government officials
ISLAMABAD: First ever
Government Officials workshop in the Federal Capital for the officials handling Consumer Complaints from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Consumer Affairs Division (CAD), Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce (ICCI), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) was organised by TheNetwork for Consumer Protection at Islamabad. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the training focused on the Grievance Redress Mechanisms in the Provincial Consumer Protection Council and Energy sector laws and regulations. Thousands of people suffered during the shutdowns and subsequent protests against supply of gas and electricity. Thus the training focused on giving consumers the way to have their grievances redressed. In order to give another push to activate the dormant Islamabad Consumer Protection Act 1995. –INP
CURRENCY US Dollar Euro British Pound UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Kuwaiti Dinar Canadian Dollar
BUYING 99.10 129.11 149.59 26.90 26.35 348.10 95.44
Pakistan 2nd largest donor to World Food Programme
Govt donates 75,000MT wheat to UN’s food programme STAFF REPORT
SELLING 99.35 129.32 149.80 27.15 26.55 351.85 97.13
Government of Pakistan has announced a donation of 75,000 metric tons of wheat to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at a time when critical funding shortages threatened the provision of emergency food assistance to almost one million displaced people in the country’s north-west. Valued at approximately US$25 million, the contribution places Pakistan as WFP’s second largest donor in the country so far this year. “This very timely contribution is greatly welcomed and demonstrates the Government’s ownership of the development process and commitment to helping its people,” said Jean-Luc Siblot, WFP Country Director and Representative in Pakistan. "The last thing we want to do is to cut assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable, and this wheat will help us to restore the food basket to a level that fully meets basic needs." The wheat will be milled, fortified
The European Union has decided to allow import of Pakistani fish products. These products were subject to a ban in European Union since 2007. After a concerted effort by the Ministry of Commerce, Marine Fisheries Department and Pakistan’s Trade Mission in Brussels, European Union has finally agreed to lift the ban from March 12th 2013 and two of the Pakistani fishery-processing establishments have been allowed to export the fish products to European Union. The European Commission had decided to recommend to the 27 member states for inclusion of two Pakistani Fisheries establishments in the approved list of third country
establishments that are authorised to export fishery products to the EU. The member states were given the deadline till February 26th, 2013 to file their objections. Since, no such objection was made by any member state, the names of the two fishing establishments have now been duly notified by the EU. It means that any consignment exported from these two approved establishments in Pakistan after 12th March 2013 would be able to enter the EU. All the fishery consignment destined for EU will have to be inspected by the Marine Fisheries Department prior to shipment. The shipments will be inspected again at the European port of entry. Pakistan’s fishery establishments were delisted by the European Commission
India, Pakistan need to revisit Indus Water Treaty, say experts ISLAMABAD: Underlining the need
for cooperation and cross border research on Indus River Basin, the experts at a report launch have called India and Pakistan to revisit ‘Indus their specifications. "It's still an ongoing process Water Treaty’ to fulfill future water and we don't have a shipping schedule yet so it's needs in both the countries. hard to tell when the shipment will be made," the The experts were of the view that executive said, adding initial negotiations on the Indus basin is under extreme pressure barter deal were for 4.5 million tonnes, but so far where per capita water availability has only 1 million has been agreed on. decreased manifold and today’s The barter deal, first proposed last year in changed scenarios, demand policy March with Iran exporting fertiliser and iron ore makers to respond to overlapping to Pakistan in exchange for wheat, was socio-economic and environmental deadlocked for months over price and quality. In threats so as to ensure water availability August, Pakistan agreed a price of $300 per and quality for millions of people tonne, an official from the country's Ministry of dependent on Indus River Basin. National Food Security and Research told The report titled “Indus Basin Reuters. International traders said they did not Roadmap for Cross-Border Water expect quick progress as Iran had room to take Research, Data Sharing, and Policy its time in ensuring all aspects of the deal work, Coordination” was organized by as the country has bought large volumes of wheat Sustainable Development Policy by working around sanctions. "Iran does not Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday. seem to have such a pressing need for wheat as Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior was seen last year when the barter deal with Research Associate, SDPI started the Pakistan was proposed and Iran was making proceedings and said that report is huge wheat purchases on the international produced by Indus Working Group market," a European trader said. which is the outcome of Pakistan-India "Iran's last wheat purchase showed a Track-II project for which SDPI has sanctions risk premium of about $10 a tonne partnered with the Stimson Center, which is a fairly moderate level." Iran's state Washington DC. He briefed that grains agency GTC bought 180,000 tonnes of working group is comprised of 25 Australian wheat at a price of around $405 a experts that joined hand to build tonne c&f, traders said earlier in February. mutual understanding between Indian Local trade sources said decision-making in and Pakistani decisions-makers on Pakistan government ministries was also slow risks and opportunities arising out of due to looming elections. Indus river basin. –STAFF REPORT
and then provided to families displaced by security operations or only recently able to return to their homes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Combined with much-needed contributions from other donors, it will allow WFP to distribute a full cereal ration to these groups until the end of the year. A shortage of resources had forced WFP to reduce rations from January. This latest contribution follows sizeable in-kind donations from the federal government and provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan last year. More than 70,000 metric tons of wheat was successfully delivered to both displaced and flood-affected communities in 2012, following a highly positive response from other donors to WFP’s appeal for complementary ‘twinning’ funds. “We will again be looking to the international donor community to provide some US$23 million needed for WFP to mill, fortify, transport and distribute the wheat,” said Siblot.
EU lifts ban on Pakistani fish products import ISLAMABADINP:
he first President of the Federal Republic of Germany Theodor Heuss (1884– 1963) established in 1958 the FriedrichNaumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit – naming it after his mentor: Friedrich Naumann (1860– 1919) an outstanding personality who influenced many lives, be it Theodor Heuss or Allama Iqbal. The FNF continues to pursue his heritageuntil today. As this work proved to be extremely successful the foundation extended abroad from the1960s onwards. Nowadays, the FNF is active in more than 60 countries with the support of the German Government. FNF is one of the leading think tanks of the world, ranked place 20 in Europe. Since 1986 the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) has been committed to a peaceful and progressive Pakistan. Today, FNF is well established in the Pakistani society and the political sphere. Against all odds, for example the partial destruction of the office due to suicide attack nearby or the severe injuries of the Interim Resident Representative in the Marriott bomb blast in 2008, FNF stand with the Pakistani people and walk with our partners on the right path of a liberal democracy with human ancivic rights as well as the freedom of equal citizens. Actively working in true partnerships with Pakistani civil society organisations, FNF serves as a tool of German development cooperation and Pakistani-German friendship. The German Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) supports the people of Pakistan in a true partnership and an open manner in shaping a suitable framework for this progress. FNF objectives is to strengthen the civil society in Pakistan. FNF Pakistan has supported several organizations from their initial start to have accompanied them to self-sustainability. FNF believes when original Pakistani initiatives become self-sustainable and continue their commitment in a professional manner, even without there further support, then this is the best which can happen in development cooperation. With the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) FNF has the open agenda in Pakistan to Strengthen civil society Establish human and civil rights Settle conflicts peacefully Facilitate a liberal democracy with democratic parties Enable equal citizens to earn their living with dignity The Foundation for Freedom links arms with few selected Pakistani organisations on a joint mid-term strategy. The FNF strengthens their associates by training, consulting and interlinking. The German Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) for Freedom produces excellent publications fordissemination and training purposes.
(EC) in 2007 after the EU inspectors found systemic enforcement failure and serious deficiencies in the sanitary quality of the fish. The EC held that relisting would be done after the relevant stakeholders in Pakistan can demonstrate that effective actions have been implemented to improve the hygiene conditions in the fishery processing establishments. The Govt of Pakistan has been working with the stakeholders to bring in the desired improvements. The laboratory services of MFD have been modernized; MFD microbiology and chemical labs have been internationally accredited; hygiene conditions in fishing vessels, landing & auction sites, fish processing plants have been improved. –STAFF REPORT
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Filmmakers fight it out for Huma Qureshi's dates
Jennifer accused of diva behaviour on film set WASHINGTON: Jennifer Aniston, who is currently filming an Untitled Elmore Leonard project, has allegedly been showing diva behaviour on the set. According to a source, the 44-year-old actress doesn't socialize with any of the cast, which includes stars like Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins and Will Forte, or crew and purposely keeps herself removed as much as possible. The source told that every day at lunch, the entire cast and crew head to a cafeteria facility where they eat lunch together for well over an hour but Aniston quickly grabs her meal and leaves. The source claimed that all the actors ride in normal production vans when they head to lunch, but Aniston has her own luxury SUV, her private trailer is parked miles away from the set, and she heads all the way back there each day to eat her lunch away from everyone else. The source added that though Aniston is not rude to anyone on set, but her acting like a diva has put-off those around her.- Showbiz Desk
MUMBAI: Huma Qureshi is one 'wanted' woman these days! This is possibly the first time an actor is facing such a dilemma. Huma is in a dilemma because, she, is presently shooting for a Vishal Bhardwaj production Dedh Ishqiya, and will have to take out dates for the patchwork of Vishal's other film Ek Thi Daayan. Talking about the situation, Tanuj Garg (CEO- Balaji Telefilms) said, "It's an amusing intra-company issue, which will be worked out soon. There will be some adjustment and we will figure out the dates. As both films are from the same production house, it's in the mutual interest. Even Emraan Hashmi (who stars in Ek Thi Daayan) gave dates in mid March, though he's been busy shooting for his next film with Danis Tanovic in Patiala. He has given us four days, so we have to work around his dates. We are trying to get Huma's dates around the same time." Buzz is that the representatives of both films are working on sorting out the date issue. - Showbiz Desk
Veena breaks Salman’s record
New look for the clothing line
She’s kissed by 100 fans in one minute SHOWBIZ DESK NEW DELHI: Reality TV star turned Bollywood actor Veena Malik has apparently broken a Guinness world record of maximum kisses in a minute. And the actress claims to have broken Dabangg Salman Khan's record of receiving maximum number kisses in a minute. "I made it, flattened Dabang khan's GUINNESS record of 108, recvd 137 kisses in a mint. AND u got it all wrong it waz on my HAND!!! Salman was kissed by 108 children as part of a show, Guiness World Records - Ab India todega. But the Pakistani import, who is best remembered for her romance with Ashmit Patel in Bigg Boss 4, received 137 kisses by the contestants of a reality show on her birthday, which was on February 26.
SHOWBIZ DESK KARACHI: Established since 2010, Farhan & Ambreen have displayed their baroque collection in numerous shows on an international level including PFE Fashion Show in Manchester, Rhythm of Asia, DSF 2011, Perfect Wedding show and an array of Exhibitions. Farhan & Ambreen caters to the fashion sensibilities of a woman who aspires to go beyond the trends and appreciates making a bold statement. The brand personality of Farhan & Ambreen‘s designer wear is a stylish & assertive woman who wants to bring about the best in her and expresses herself through her dressing. Speaking about the revamped collection, Ambreen, copartner of Farhan & Ambreen said: “Our designs, color pallets, cuts, embellishments, embroidery work, experiments, differentiate our brand from the rest. “Speaking about the brand philosophy, Farhan Wahid, copartner of Farhan & Ambreen said: “All designs are a creation of two minds, I put my fresh ideas and Ambreen gives these ideas a mature form.” The duo of Farhan & Ambreen depicts creativity in their array of prêt & couture collection which combines eastern flares with western cuts giving it a unique look. Farhan & Ambreen makes a conscious effort in experimenting & continuously bringing innovation in their designs, which goes beyond a display on the ramp. They encourage teamwork & meticulously work towards coming up with designs revered by all.
Big B writes blog on Kareena Kapoor
Arnold steps out with mystery blonde Has Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped back into the dating game?
SHOWBIZ DESK CALIFORNIA: The former governor was spotted with the same mystery blonde twice over the weekend. Schwarzenegger, 65, and the muchyounger-looking woman were spotted at a restaurant at the upscale Fairmont Hotel near the beach in Santa Monica, California. Both were dressed down with Arnie in a longsleeve shirt and blue jeans and his companion in leggings and a hoodie over a T-shirt, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail.
Two days earlier, the couple hit another, more casual eatery in Santa Monica, when they had what looked like a date night at Caribbean-inspired eatery Babalu on Friday. There, the duo was spotted laughing and smiling while enjoying dinner at a table by the window. For those that have been away from the planet Earth for the last couple of years, Schwarzenegger was the subject of a media firestorm in the spring of 2011 when, shortly after he and wife Maria Shriver split after 25 years of marriage, it was revealed that
NEW DELHI: Amitabh Bachchan, who has had a strained relationship with the Kapoor family ever since his son, actor Abhishek Bachchan’s engagement with Karisma Kapoor broke off a decade back, has written a blog about Karisma’s younger sister Kareena Kapoor. Amitabh Bachchan and Kareena are working for Prakash Jha’s Satyagrah. This is the first time that the two are working together since the incident. In the blog, Big B speaks
of how a young Kareena had been troubled by an action scene in Pukar (1983), in which Big B was beating up her father Randhir Kapoor. “She in her innocence had run on to the set in the outdoors and clung to her father to protect him from this ‘evil’ man who was beating him up. She soiled her pretty little feet in the sand and I washed her tiny feet clean. She still remembers that moment!!,” he wrote. -Showbiz Desk
Sherlyn Chopra back in Kamasutra 3D
the “Terminator” actor had fathered a child with the family’s long-time housekeeper nearly 14 years earlier. We have no idea if Arnie and the blonde are romantically involved. Maybe they’re just old (or new) pals? But if they are dating and they do get serious, perhaps they should consider taking care of their house themselves rather than bringing in outside help.
NEW DELHI: Sherlyn Chopra, the first Indian Playboy pin-up, knows how to be in news in the big bad world of showbiz. The modelturned-actress was recently in news for uploading her video from Kamasutra 3D on social networking site Twitter but without the consent of her director and producers. And reports were that she was dropped from the movie for violating the terms and agreement. Reports further suggested that director Rupesh Paul was also planning to replace her with a Hollywood actress. However, all is well between Sherlyn and her director and that the two will finally begin shooting for the movie in Rajasthan next month. "Lookin' forward to playing an Indian Princess in the exotic locales of Rajasthan," Sherlyn tweeted. And she further wrote: "After all, I'm phuckin' indispensable. All's well that ends well." According to reports, the video was a screen test and wasn't meant for public viewing. -Showbiz Desk
Real 'Argo' hostage responds to big win SHOWBIZ DESK LOS ANGELES: Two days after the political thriller Argo snagged best picture honors at the Oscars, one of the hostages whose experience inspired the film felt the urge to react to the big win on Facebook. "The substance of what I wrote really just came to me this morning," Mark Lijek (played by Christopher Denham in Argo) told Mashable. "I was excited Argo won best picture." Argo is loosely based on the hostage crisis during the Iranian Revolution in 1979, when militants held 52 Americans inside the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Argo details the tale of six of them who escaped and hid in the Canadian ambassador's home. Lijek and his wife, Cora, were two of those who escaped and
“I was thrilled when Argo won, but only now is it really sinking in. Sorry if it sounds like bragging, but it is kind of cool to have the most interesting episode in your life turned into a best picture winner. Sure, the story is dramatized and important people were left out, but all the more reason I am glad I wrote the book and the magazine articles filling in the broader story” were rescued by CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) in 1980 at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. Thirty-three years later, their story helped bring home the film industry's top prize. "It dawned on me that there have been only 85 or so Best Picture winners out of probably tens of thousands of films made over the years, and the biggest adventure of my life was the subject of one of those." "It dawned on me that there have
been only 85 or so Best Picture winners out of probably tens of thousands of films made over the years, and the biggest adventure of my life was the subject of one of those." Lijek wrote this on Facebook: "I was thrilled when Argo won, but only now is it really sinking in. Sorry if it sounds like bragging, but it is kind of cool to have the most interesting episode in your life turned into a best picture winner. Sure, the
story is dramatized and important people were left out, but all the more reason I am glad I wrote the book and the magazine articles filling in the broader story." He has been
following the online sentiment around Argo and says he thinks the reaction patterns that previously arose in response to the film will continue even after the Oscar win.
Tamannah to romance Khiladi Akshay
MUMBAI: Southern sensation Tamannaah is already making waves in Bollywood. Even before the release of her debut film Himmatwala opposite Ajay Devgn, the actress has already bagged her second film. According to reports, Tammannah will be working opposite Khiladi Akshay Kumar in her second movie. Reports suggest that Akshay decided to cast her in the lead after seeing the promos of Himmatvala. The film, which will mark the directorial debut of writer duo Sajid and Farhad, will be produced by Ramesh Taurani. Apparently, the film will be rolling out towards the end of the year. -SHOWBIZ DESK
Anne apologises to Valentino LOS ANGELES: Oscar winner Anne Hathaway has apologised to Valentino for not wearing the dress he designed for her and changing it for a Prada design at the last minute. The 30-year-old actress, who won Best Supporting Actress, surprised onlookers when she arrived in a pale pink Prada gown just hours after Valentino released a statement saying they had dressed her for the high profile event, reported People magazine. "It came to my attention late Saturday night that there would be a dress worn to the Oscars that is remarkably similar to the Valentino I had intended to wear, and so I decided it was best for all involved to change my plans," Hathaway said in a statement. "Though I love the dress I did wear, it was a difficult last minute decision as I had so looked forward to wearing Valentino in honour of the deep and meaningful relationship I have enjoyed with the house and with Valentino himself. I deeply regret any disappointment caused," she added. Italian designer Valentino, 80, is a long-time friend of the actress and designed the custom pink and white wedding dress she wore for her Italian nuptials to Adam Shulman in September. Showbiz Desk
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
OUR STAFF REPORTER
The Pakistan Billiard and snooker Association said on Wednesday that the Indian team had been granted the necessary clearance from the ministry of interior for participation in IndoPak snooker being played from March 7-10 in Karachi. “The PBSA is grateful to federal minister of interior Rehman Malik who granted time out of his busy schedule to our president Alamgir A. Shaikh in Islamabad and issued the instructions for issuance of visas
Afridi to campaign against use of drugs OUR STAFF REPORTER
T20s give Pakistan a chance to fight back against Proteas hit back after a trouncing in the Test series when they meet South Africa in the first of two Twenty20 internationals at Kingsmead on Friday. The tourists were outclassed in the Tests, losing all three matches, but can be reasonably optimistic about their prospects in the shorter forms of the game with the Twenty20 games followed by five oneday internationals. Only five of South Africa's current Test players are in the T20 squad – Faf du Plessis, who has been appointed captain in the shortest format, AB de Villiers, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt and fast bowling discovery Kyle Abbott. The change of emphasis in South Africa's approach is underlined by the fact that national coach Gary Kirsten handed the T20 reins to Russell Domingo, his assistant coach, before a three-match series against New Zealand earlier in the season. South Africa won that series 2-1. Pakistan will be boosted by the inclusion of the experienced duo of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.
PLO urges boycott of Jerusalem marathon
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has called for runners and sponsors to boycott the 2013 Jerusalem marathon, saying involvement implies acceptance of Israel's illegal annexation of the city's eastern sector. In a statement, the Palestine Liberation Organisation appealed to "all participants and sponsors of the International Jerusalem Winner Marathon to withdraw their sponsorship and participation or else become complicit in covering up Israel's grave human rights abuses in its occupation of the State of Palestine." The race, which takes place on Friday, will see thousands of runners participating in either the full 42-kilometre marathon, the half marathon or a 10-kilometre dash. It starts at the Israeli parliament and follows a hilly course, part of which goes through Arab east Jerusalem including a short stretch inside the walled Old City. In a joint statement, the Palestine Olympic Committee, the Palestinian Athletics Federation and the Higher Council of Youth and Sports said the course demonstrated the ‘racist policies’ of the Israeli government, which was "moving the runners from west to east as though the city were truly united." "This marathon is part and parcel of other Israeli policies and practices in Jerusalem that are aimed at exerting Israeli control over the occupied city and isolate it from the rest of Palestine," it said. "Sponsoring or participating in the marathon implies recognition and active participation by the individual or company in Israel's illegal annexation and racist policies in Jerusalem." Last year, 15,000 people joined the race, a third of whom ran the half or full marathon. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the rest of the world. The Jewish state considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital, a claim not recognised by the international community. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state. The call came as an internal EU report found that Israel's settlement construction in east Jerusalem was part of a deliberate strategy to prevent the city from becoming capital of two states. AGENCIES
Opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez takes over as T20 captain, although Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq will resume the leadership for the oneday internationals, which start in Bloemfontein on March 10. The Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar, who were not part of the Test squad, are others who could add impetus to the T20 side. Whereas South Africa's greatest strength is in their number one-ranked Test team, Pakistan are likely to be lifted by the infusion of new players after a morale-sapping experience in the Test series. "It will be good to have some new players for the one-day games... the new players will come with fresh minds and a positive attitude," Misbah said after the final Test ended in three days on Sunday. By contrast, Domingo said South Africa faced a "much tougher" challenge in the T20s, describing his team as "a work in progress" with young players being tried out with a view to the next World T20 in Bangladesh next year. Squads: South Africa: Faf du Plessis
(Capt), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock (wkt), AB de Villiers (wkt), Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (Capt), Nasir Jamshed, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wkt), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Amin, Zulfiqar Babar, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan. AGENCIES
South Africa call Abbott into one-day squad CAPE TOWN: Fast bowler Kyle Abbott, who took nine wickets on his test
debut last week, has been added to South Africa's squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan. "Morne Morkel's recovery from his hamstring injury is still a work in progress and we consider it prudent to provide extra depth to our fast bowling resources," selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a Cricket South Africa statement on Wednesday. Morkel's injury also provided Abbott with an initial test squad call-up and when Jacques Kallis withdrew on the first morning, he was trust into the team. Abbott's seven for 29 in the first innings was the second best return on debut by a South African and he helped bowl his side to an innings win over Pakistan to complete a 3-0 series whitewash. The 25-year-old was already in the squad for two T20 internationals on Friday and Sunday. The five-match ODI series starts on March 10. AGENCIES
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi will lead drug prevention campaign aiming at keeping youth off drugs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s six districts where experts reported rise in use of drugs. “Over the next three months, locallanguage drug prevention messages will be placed on billboards at strategic locations, while similar messages are broadcast over FM radio and local TV. The Pakistan star and UN Goodwill Ambassador Afridi has committed to serve as the campaign spokesperson,” a statement from the US Consulate General said on Wednesday. Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat, Charsada, Swat, and Nowshera have been selected for the campaign. “The United States is partnering with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Pakistan’s Ministry of Narcotics Control in order to implement this comprehensive awareness campaign. KP’s provincial government, as well as local NGOs such as the DOST Foundation, are also contributing to the project,” it said. “Pakistan has a growing population under the age of 15, which, in combination with economic challenges and the ready availability of drugs, makes drug use prevention crucial in controlling
Australia and England locked in battle for second position in ICC Test Rankings
Amla, Clarke fight for No.1 batting spot OUR STAFF REPORTER
South Africa batsman Hashim Amla and Australia captain Michael Clarke have continued their dogfight for the number-one batting position on the ICC Test Player Rankings for batsmen. Both the batsmen excelled in the Centurion and Chennai Tests, which meant both they gained ratings points and as such retained their preTest rankings. Amla has earned eight ratings points following his knock of 92 against Pakistan and became only the 27th batsman in the history of the game to break the 900-rating points barrier, a benchmark for the top batsmen. Amla, who has been twice shortlisted for the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award, is the fourth South African to achieve this rare feat after Jacques Kallis, Graeme Pollock and Dudley Nourse. The 29-year-old from Durban, who celebrates his 30th birthday next month, is now at a career-best 903 ratings points and in 25th position on the alltime batting ratings list. Clarke, who was the 26th batsman to break the 900point mark after the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka, got scores of 131 and 30 in the Chennai Test against India. For this effort, he received five ratings points, which, in turns means the gap between the top two batsmen in the world opened from six to 11 ratings
Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
South Africa England Australia India Pakistan Sri Lanka West Indies New Zealand Bangladesh
128 118 117 105 104 92 91 78 0
Zimbabwe are currently unranked, as they have played insufficient matches. They have 167 points and a rating of 42.
points. However, Amla has no more Tests before October while Clarke has three more Tests against India to reclaim the number-one batting rank he surrendered to the South African on 4 February after the Cape Town Test. The latest rankings were released on Tuesday after India’s eight-wicket win over Australia in Chennai and South Africa’s innings and 18 runs win over Pakistan at Centurion. There has been some reshuffle in the batting table following the Centurion and Chennai Tests. South Africa’s AB de Villiers has moved up a place to third, India’s Sachin Tendulkar has jumped three places to 17th spot, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has charged up 15 places to 21st, Virat Kohli of India has gained 10 places and is now on a career-best 25th position. In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has been rewarded for his match haul of 12 for 198 with a leap of
nine places which has put him in a career-best 11th spot. There has been no other change in the top 10 of the bowlers’ table, which is still headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn with his teammate Vernon Philander in second place. Philander has gained six ratings points to finish at 890 and trails Steyn by 15 ratings points. Other bowlers outside the top 20 to make upward movements include James Pattinson in 21st (up by 13), Ravindra Jadeja in 63rd (up by 22), Rory Kleinveldt in 70th (up by six) and Rahat Ali in 81st (up by 39). ICC Test Championship table:
South Africa have further consolidated their lead at the top of ICC Test Championship table. The 3-0 series win over Pakistan has earned South Africa four ratings points, which has lifted them to 128 ratings points, thereby opening up a 10-point lead over secondranked England. Pakistan, on the other hand, have dropped five ratings points to slip below
India in fifth position on the Test Championship table. Prize Money: South Africa have already sealed theirs position as the number-one ranked Test side at the April 1 cut-off date with which means they have not only retained the Test mace but have also been assured of a reward of $450,000. But a further $750,000 is still up for grabs. This money will be distributed to teams that will finish second ($350,000), third ($250,000) and fourth ($150,000) on the Test Championship table at the cut-off date. As such, India and Australia, as well as second-ranked England, who will take on New Zealand in a three-Test series from 6 March, will be aiming to collect maximum points from their respective series which can help them win the increased incentive in the form of prize money, which was approved by the ICC Board in 2012 and was aimed to promote Test cricket in the period before the ICC Test Championship event in 2017.
what could be a major health challenge in the future,” remarked Consul-General Reed. “The US is committed to working with the government of Pakistan and the UN to carry out comprehensive antidrug campaigns like this one that will help millions of young Pakistanis rise as far as their hard work and talent will take them,” he went on to add. Dr. Nadeem Rehman, the demand reduction specialist for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said: “We have worked in close cooperation with the governments of Pakistan and the US to design and implement a comprehensive approach to drug prevention.” Afridi will encourage youth to avoid drugs and participate in healthy activities through the promotion of sports, the statement said. Fun communitybased activities in schools and colleges will supplement the antidrug message. For example, Afridi will host a KP province-wide cricket tournament for youth. Qualifying cricket matches will be held between various schools and colleges in the six selected campaign cities. One winning school and college team per city will be selected to compete in the final tournament.
MCC calls for T20 at 2024 Olympic Games LONDON: MCC's world cricket committee has said it would like to see Twenty20 cricket included at the 2024 Olympic Games to boost take-up of the game around the world. Cricket is on the first rung of the ladder for inclusion at a future Games, having received full Olympic recognition in 2010, but would still have to apply to be on the programme. Now the earliest the International Cricket Council (ICC) can apply for the sport to feature at an Olympic Games is 2024. But following a two-day meeting in Auckland, the MCC world cricket committee said that any financial losses the game might suffer from the sport being included at an Olympics would be outweighed by extra exposure. "The MCC world cricket committee appreciates that a great deal of effort may be needed to lobby for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic Games of 2024," it said in a statement. "The committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members, but is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included. "Furthermore, the committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the 'pinnacle' of that form of the sport." International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, a noted Anglophile, has previously encouraged cricket to make its case for Games inclusion, saying in 2011: "We would welcome an application. "It's an important, popular sport and very powerful on television. It's a sport with a great tradition where mostly you have a respect of the ethics." Only once before has cricket appeared in the Games – at the 1900 Paris Olympics, when Britain beat France by 158 runs, with the French team largely made up of British expatriates. More recently there was also a cricket tournament at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport event for countries who were, in most cases, once ruled by Britain – as is the case with cricket's leading Test-playing nations. However, any bid for cricket to resume as an Olympic sport is sure to face opposition from those who believe the Games calendar is already too congested. And others will argue no sport where the Olympics is not considered the highest honour should feature at a Games, although that has not stopped tennis being restored to the programme or golf being included for Rio 2016, even though both have their annual four ‘Majors’. MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), which owns London's Lord's ground and still has worldwide responsibility for the sport's rules or Laws, no longer has a day-to-day role in the global administration of the game. But its world cricket committee, chaired by former England captain Mike Brearley and including the likes of cricket greats Steve Waugh and Rodney Marsh (Australia), as well as India's Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble is regarded as an influential group within the sport. AGENCIES
West Indies complete series sweep over Zimbabwe ST GEORGE'S:
West Indies easily won their third and final one-day international with Zimbabwe in Grenada on Tuesday to complete a 3-0 series cleansweep. Darren Bravo stroked an unbeaten 72 from 103 deliveries to lead his team to a comfortable five-wicket victory with 22 balls to spare after Zimbabwe were restricted to 211 for nine from their 50 overs. The tourists made a solid start
with opener Vusi Sibanda making 41 and Brendan Taylor 39 before West Indian left arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul ripped through the middle order, capturing three wickets. Chamu Chibhabha provided Zimbabwe with a glimmer of hope when he blasted an unbeaten 48, featuring three fours and two sixes, but the West Indies had few problems reaching their target.
Opener Kieran Powell, who scored half-centuries in the previous two matches, laid the platform for the West Indian reply with a solid 42 from 52 deliveries before Bravo took over, adding a half century to his hundred from the first match to finish the series with an average of 172. The two teams will play a pair of Twenty20 fixtures in Antigua this weekend before tests in Barbados and Dominica. AGENCIES
SCOREBOARD ZIMBABWE INNINGS
T Mawoyo lbw b Narine V Sibanda c Deonarine b Best H Masakadza b DJ Bravo B Taylor c Powell b Permaul R Chakabva b Permaul M Waller lbw b Permaul C Chibhabha not out T Mutombodzi run out N Mushangwe b DJ Bravo K Jarvis c and b Best C Mpofu not out EXTRAS: (LB 4, W 9) TOTAL: (for 9 wickets; 50 overs)
9 41 6 39 17 15 48 13 1 7 2 13 211
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-23, 2-30, 3-85, 4-104, 5-128, 6-139, 7157,8-160, 9-201
K Roach T Best DJ Bravo S Narine V Permaul N Deonarine
WEST INDIES INNINGS
K. Powell c Waller b Mutombodzi R. Sarwan c and b Mutombodzi DM Bravo not out N. Deonarine c Mutombodzi b Masakadza
7-3-15-0 9-0-38-2 10-1-58-2 10-1-41-1 10-0-40-3 4-1-15-0 42 19 72 21
K. Pollard run out 0 DJ Bravo c Masakadza b Jarvis 25 D Ramdin not out 24 Did not bat: K. Roach, S. Narine, T. Best, V. Permaul EXTRAS: (LB 5 W 7) 12 TOTAL: (for 5 wickets; 46.2 overs) 215 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-46, 2-83, 3-120, 4-121, 5-167
K Jarvis C Mpofu N Mushangwe T Mutombodzi M Waller H Masakadza C Chibhabha
10-1-54-1 8.2-0-39-0 10-1-31-0 10-0-35-2 1-0-7-0 6-0-38-1 1-0-6-0
QUEENSTOWN: A Qantas jet takes off above the cricketers during day one of the four day warm up International cricket match between New Zealand and England played at the Queenstown Event Center on Wednesday. AFP
DURBAN: Pakistan have a chance to
to the Indian players for their travel to Pakistan to participate in the snooker series,” said a spokesman for the PBSA. “The PBSA highly appreciates the prompt and kind gesture of the minister for providing the assistance that will go a long way in promoting sports and also bilateral relations between India and Pakistan,” he added. “The federal minister also announced the Pride of Performance award for Muhammad Asif – world snooker champion – for his outstanding achievement in Bulgaria,” he added.
India gets permission to take part in snooker series in Pakistan
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2013
THE SPOKESMAN - RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD
SC rejects IB’s reply in secret fund withdrawal
Naval officer shot in Karachi
KARACHI: A senior officer of
Pakistan Navy was severely wounded on Wednesday when unidentified men opened fire on his car at Gate 15 of Karachi port, police said. Lieutenant Commander Azeem Haider was shifted to Pakistan Navy’s PNS Shifa hospital in critical condition. He received four bullets one of which hit his neck. He is being treated at Shifa Hopital in Karachi. Sources said Haider was an investigation officer in the Mehran Base attack case. Police and security agencies are investigating the attack. –AGENCIES
ISLAMABAD: Rejecting a written
reply submitted by the Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) Director General over the withdrawal of Rs270 million from the secret fund by the Pakistan People’s Party’s government, allegedly for pushing its political agenda in Punjab, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sough a fresh and detailed reply over the matter by today (Thursday). A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad
Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing a case pertaining to withdrawal of a huge amount of money from IB’s secret accounts by the PPP government to buy the loyalty of politicians in Punjab and other provinces in 2008-9 and 1988-1990. The court directed the IB chief Sardar Akhtar Hassan Gorchani to appear in person with a comprehensive answer detailing where the funds withdrawn from the bureau’s secret fund were used, if not for toppling the Punjab
government in 2009. At the start of the hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted the reply of IB’s chief, which the court rejected as being inappropriate and dissatisfactory. The court noted that the reply was signed by the Attorney General instead of the IB chief. Besides, derogatory language was used in the reply. The court also noted that it seemed as if the Law Ministry was not consulted while preparing the reply. The Attorney General, however, contended that the reply was
prepared with the consultation of the Law Ministry. He also withdrew the reply. Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing until February 28. Although the IB chief consulted various legal experts while preparing his reply to craft the government’s response, he failed to satisfy the court. The court had sought the reply of IB’s incumbent chief following the testimonies of two former heads of IB, who confirmed that the amount was indeed withdrawn from the bureau’s secret fund but maintained
‘Army, ISI will have no role in polls’
Senior journalist shot dead in North Waziristan
MIRANSHAH: Senior journalist
and correspondent for Geo News, Malik Mumtaz, was martyred in North Waziristan on Wednesday near Miranshah. Mumtaz was returning home to Miranshah after offering condolences from a nearby village when unidentified assailants opened fire on his car, killing him on the spot near the Chashma Bridge. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. –AGENCIES
LAHORE: Chaudhary Pervez Elahi
Parties consult legal experts on fake degrees issue
ISLAMABAD: The political parties
have started consultations with their constitutional experts to avoid the disqualification of their important leaders due to fake and invalid degrees. According to sources, the political parties having scores of fake degree holders will also appeal for new executive orders from the government in this regard. –ONLINE
PESHAWAR: Children doing their homework in candlelight because of load-shedding. The energy crisis has paralysed the country while the economy has suffered serious damage, but the government claims there will be no power outages for now. –INP
SC gives govt a nudge on overseas voters MASOOD REHMAN
POL prices to go up
ISLAMABAD: The prices of all
petroleum products (POL) are likely to go up by Rs4.35/litre during the next month, reliable sources said on Wednesday. The sources said that a summary pertaining to prices of all petroleum products have been dispatched to Finance Ministry seeking its approval prior to the final announcement. They said if the summary gets approval from concerned authorities, per litre prices of all petroleum products would witness hike of up to Rs4.35/litre during the month of March. They also said that per litre price of petrol would go up by Rs3.50, high speed diesel (HSD) oil by Rs4.35, while light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs3.93 and kerosene oil by Rs3.79. –SAHTAK BALOCH
ANP rejoins Sindh govt
KARACHI: Awami National Party
Reports of US compound at Karachi airport denied
Pervez Elahi elected PML-Q Punjab chief and Chaudhary Zaheer-ud-Din have been elected unopposed as President of Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Punjab and its General Secretary respectively. According to media reports, Election Commission of Pakistan had directed all political parties to hold intra-party elections for ensuring their participation in the general elections. –ONLINE
(ANP) has rejoined Sindh government unconditionally. According to a spokesman for Sindh Chief Minister, ANP decided to come back in the government unconditionally and the party’s Amir Nawab would assume charge of the labour ministry in the province. Sources said that talks between the PPP and ANP leadership were held at the Chief Minister House. ONLINE
that it was not used against the Punjab government. The court had taken suo motu notice of a report which appeared in an English daily on March 14, alleging that Rs270 million had been withdrawn by the PPP government to dislodge the Punjab government in 2008-09. The news report had also claimed that in addition to Rs270 million, Rs360 million had also been withdrawn by the PPP government in 1988-1990 to remove the governments in the then NWFP and other provinces.
The Supreme Court directed the government on Wednesday to make sincere efforts, without indulging in the nitty-gritty of a bill, for granting right of vote to the eligible overseas Pakistani voters. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing a matter pertaining to right of vote to the eligible overseas Pakistani voters. During the hearing, the chief justice noted that without wasting any time, sincere efforts should be made to grant right of vote to the eligible overseas Pakistani voters. He said there was no need of a separate law for giving right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis, however if government will indulge in drafting a bill for this purpose, overseas Pakistanis might be deprived of voting right. Deputy Attorney General Shafi Muhammad Chandio presented before the court minutes of a meeting between the Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the issue of right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis. He stated that another meeting would be called shortly to discuss legislation
or a bill for giving right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis. He said a mechanism on the issue was being devised on priority basis; however it would take some time. He also presented before the court details of ECP’s meetings with other concerned officials over the issue. “If you want to do it, you can do it in hours. Otherwise nothing took place in last 65-years”, Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed said. Shafi Chandio apprised the court that there were 7.5 million overseas Pakistanis. He said, out of these overseas Pakistanis, 4.4 million had the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP). The minutes of the meeting stated that if overseas Pakistanis were granted the right to vote, then people from one province would want to vote in another province. It stated that currently 16, 66, 957 Pakistanis were living in Saudi Arabia; 13, 0 2, 733 in UAE; 3, 64,811 in Britain, 1, 00439 in USA; 94, 000 in Kuwait; 79, 000 in Bahrain; 71, 000 in Qatar and 2, 66718 in Oman. It further stated that, Pakistanis were also living in Malaysia and other countries. Later, the court directed the government to devise strategy on urgent basis over the issue of right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis and adjourned the hearing for March 04.
ECPʼs application against Karachi delimitation dismissed KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday threw away an application of the
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against delimitation in Karachi. A fivemember bench of SC, headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, resumed hearing of the Karachi law and order situation case at the Karachi Registry here. Counsel for the ECP turned up at the outset of the hearing for contention. He said that redrawing of electoral constituencies in Karachi might lead to the postponement of polls, adding that the task of delimitation could not be carried out as a very short time is left in general elections, a which the bench observed that delimitation and demarcation are two different things, and added that census was not necessary for the redrawing of electoral constituencies in Karachi. –ONLINE
Plea against Zardari dismissed LAHORE:
The Lahore High Court has dismissed a petition seeking an order to bar Asif Ali Zardari from functioning as the President of the country. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Farid Piracha had filed the petition contending that Zardari had been disqualified in light of a recent Supreme Court judgment that bars the President from engaging in political activities. Mr Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh observed that the order sought by Piracha could not be granted as another petition on the same issue was pending adjudication and its maintainability had not been decided as yet. He then dismissed Piracha's application. The petitioner claimed that President Asif Ali Zardari had been persistently carrying out political activities as the head of the state as well as the leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party. He said a full Bench of the Lahore High Court had on 12th May, 2011 suggested that the President should disassociate himself from the post of chief of the Pakistan People’s Party but he had been consistently disobeying the court’s order and the Constitution. –ONLINE
Defence Secretary Asif Yasin Malik has informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence that the army and ISI will have no role in the upcoming general elections. Malik added that during the elections the army would only be deployed at sensitive locations to provide security. During his briefing to the committee, Defence Secretary Malik also dismissed media reports about a US Army Corps of Engineers setting up a tactical command and operation centre compound at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport. The secretary told the committee, chaired by Azra Afzal Pechuho, that no compound was given to any foreign country at the Karachi airport. On Tuesday a media report claimed that the US Army Corps of Engineers was permitted to set up a tactical command and operation center to exchange information with Pakistani authorities regarding smuggling activities. He added that the defence ministry had written to both US and Pakistani officials to
investigate the matter. Yaseen Malik told the standing committee that all three armed forces were fully aware of terrorism threats to their installations. The defence secretary said that Army commandoes had already been deployed for the protection of the Pakistan Air Force and Navy’s facilities. He added that steps were also being taken to provide increased security to the Army’s facilities and Pakistan’s nuclear installations. Speaking to reporters after the briefing, the secretary said that the tender document for the US Tactical Command and Operations Centre had been released in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and that the defence ministry had nothing to do with the compound or any such project. He reiterated that the US Army Corps had not been allowed to build any sort of facility at any civilian airport, nor would they be allowed to. He added that there were no elections or political cells being operated by any of the intelligence agencies, including the InterServices Intelligence (ISI). –INP
Altaf advises Ibad to stay in office
The MQM chief Altaf Hussain has criticised those who are demanding the resignation of Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad and asked him to immediately return to Karachi and continue performing his duties. According to a private TV channel, Altaf termed the demand as strange and said Dr Ibad must reassume the charge of his office. It is pertinent to mention that the Sindh governor is currently in Dubai for the last four days. On his departure from Karachi, it was rumoured that he
would visit London to get advice from the self-exiled party chief on whether he should leave the office, as the MQM decided to quit the ruling alliance and sit on the opposition benches. Critics say the current PPPMQM clash is an orchestrated one and designed to ensure that both the parties get a caretaker setup in the province which is according to their liking. Some parties, like the PMLN, have also demanded removal of political governors for free and fair general elections. –MONITORING DESK
ANP’s position makes govt defer bill on new province again TAHIR NIAZ
ISLAMABAD: The government could
not gather the courage to take up the bill for creation of the proposed Bahawalpur-Janoobi Punjab province in the Senate for the second consecutive day on Wednesday despite having it on the Order of the Day, apparently due to the disinterest shown by the government ally ANP and a lack of required number of the legislators to amend the constitution. On Tuesday, the ANP walked out of the house to protest and amendment to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, aimed at reducing the size of the standing committees, which also forced the government to announce that the bill would be taken up next day. A similar
situation developed on Wednesday when towards the end of the proceedings the ANP legislators silently walked out of the house, following the chair deferring an amendment in the Rules of Procedure proposed by ANP lawmaker Haji Mohammad Adeel. With ANP’s twelve members already on their way to the parliament lodges, there was no choice for the government but to defer the bill as it was difficult to ensure the required two-thirds majority of the legislators to amend the constitution. The PML-N is opposed to the proposed bill and equally determined to block it in the upper house of parliament. As Chairman Nayyar Bokhari asked PML-N’s Ishaq Dar — opposition leader in the Senate — to sit with Haji Adeel in the lobby to
discuss the proposed amendment to Senate rules, Dar in a lighter tone said: “You want me out of the House to pass The Constitution (Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2013”. Treasury Senator Mian Raza Rabbani expressed concern over media reports that the US Army Corps of Engineers had permission to build a Tactical Command and Operations Centre (TCOC) compound at the Jinnah International Airport (JIAP), Karachi to exchange information with Pakistan Customs Drug Enforcement Cell concerning smuggling activities in and around Karachi. RazaRabbani and leader of the opposition Ishaq Dar lashed out at the government for not taking the house into confidence over such a vital issue. Finance Minister Salim H Mandviwala
sought time from the Chair to gather information in this regard. Upon this, Rabbani wondered how such an important issue escaped the notice of the ministry concerned. He believed that even the minister seemed not to have been taken into confidence. According to the reports, the compound will support the officers, staff and equipment of the Pakistan Customs Drug Enforcement Cell and Rummaging and Patrolling Sections. The project will enable coordinated quick-response to constantly evolving narcotics and contraband smuggling tactics in and around Karachi and Pakistan's entire coastline. The company that gets the contract will be responsible for the designing and building of a two-storey Tactical Command and Operations Centre
consisting of a main block and a cell/interrogation building located separately. The chairman referred “The Abolition of Privy Purses and Privileges (Amendment) Bill 2013”, considered as a money bill by the NA speaker, to the Finance Standing Committee. Senators Raza Rabbani, Ishaq Dar and Babar Awan objected to the Speaker considering the bill a money bill and asked the government to treat it as a simple bill but the chairman ruled that the Speaker's decision was final. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and MQM’s Tahir Mashhadi exchanged good-humored remarks as they debated the issue of screening objectionable content by some TV channels. Defending what Mashhadi dubbed as bold scenes,
Published by Ahmad Waleed from Yasmin Majeed Printing Press, 69-Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
especially on Urdu 1 channel, Kaira said the government could not enforce censorship on TV channels content as obscenity is not precisely defined. “It may be obscenity in my views but may not be in others’ views”, he remarked. Mashhadi replied: “The minister shuts his eyes in the evening… I tell you some TV channels screen very objectionable content”. Kaira said: “I don’t watch what Mashhadi Sahib watches on TV at night”, which triggered laughter in the house. Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting,however it was not pointed out by any of the legislators. Only three of the 17 starred questions appearing on the agenda were responded to by the relevant ministries, which the members resented.